Indian hardliners slam Pak’s cricket matches in Cuttack


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 said. The International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup, commencing Jan 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 and 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 Biju Patnaik air port, 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 Jan 8 killing of two Indian soldiers, one of whom was beheaded and his head taken away, along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.