10 Kashmiri youths booked under UAPA for playing cricket match ‘in memory of slain militant’

The 10 youths include nine local cricketers and slain militant Syed Ruban's brother, who allegedly organised the cricket match in Shopian Thursday.

Srinagar 03 Sept: The Jammu and Kashmir Police Thursday booked 10 youths in Shopian district under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for allegedly taking part in a cricket tournament held “in the memory” of a slain militant commander.

According to senior J&K administration officials, the 10 youths include nine local cricketers and brother of a slain militant commander, who is believed to be the organiser of the event held in Shopian Thursday.

Officials said the tournament was allegedly organised by Syed Tajamul Imran, brother of Syed Ruban, who was the commander of a militant outfit named Al Badr. He was killed in a gunfight  with security forces in January last year. 

Ruban (23), a resident of Nazneenpora Shopian, had joined militancy in 2018. He was the cousin of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Syed Naveed Babu, who was arrested along with former deputy superintendent of police Davinder Singh in January this year when the latter was trying to ferry him and another militant.

“The individual (Tajamul) had distributed some jerseys and organised the event in the memory of his brother killed in 2019. As a result of this, a massive number of people had gathered to watch the cricket tournament. As of now, 10 individuals have been booked under the UAPA,” said a senior officer, who did not wish to be named.

“Clearly the event was held with an intention to glorify insurgency here,” the officer said.

ThePrint tried to reach Tajamul through phone calls for a comment, but his mobile remained switched off till the time of publishing this report.

‘My brother was a talented cricketer’

Tajamul, a local activist and coordinator of the Jammu and Kashmir People Association, had issued a press statement earlier in the day, stating that he had distributed 100 cricket uniforms in the “loving memory of his brother”.

“I distribute these cricket uniforms as this was my brother’s favourite game. He was a talented cricketer, admired by his friends for his love for the game and talent he had got,” his statement read.

It added that the tournament was being held to encourage youth to take up sports, “lest they may fall for drugs and other social evils”. 

The police is yet to make any arrest in the case.(The Print) ◼◼◼

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