2013 ICC Women's World Cup: Bajrang Dal protests against Pakistan playing at Cuttack

The Bajrang Dal said that Pakistani players would not be allowed to play in India in view of the widespread cross-border tension © Getty Images

Bhubaneswar: Jan 23, 2013

The Bajrang Dal has called for a shutdown in Cuttack Thursday to protest the staging of World Cup matches of the Pakistan women’s cricket team in the city.

“We have appealed to people to observe a complete shutdown,” right-wing Bajrang Dal leader Subash Chauhan told IANS Tuesday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup, commencing January 31, was earlier scheduled to be held in Mumbai. However, the Pakistani team’s matches were shifted to Cuttack following opposition by the Shiv Sena.

In Odisha too, the opposition BJP, Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and some smaller political parties have protested against the proposed staging of matches.

Activists demonstrated in the twin cities of state capital Bhubaneswar and Cuttack Tuesday when a delegation of the ICC and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was here to discuss arrangements with top state officials.

The protestors demonstrated outside the Biju Patnaik airport, the police commissioner’s headquarters and in front of some star hotels where the players are expected to stay.

“Pakistani players would not be allowed to play in India in view of the widespread cross-border tension. The country is first priority,” a protestor said.

He was referring to the January 8 killing of two Indian soldiers, one of whom was beheaded and his head taken away, along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.