J&K cricketer's brother accuses police of high handedness

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/c/cricgen3.jpg' class='caption'> The brother of Kashmiri cricketer who was arrested and later released in Bangalore accused the police of the South Indian city of high handedness.

Updated: October 18, 2009 13:36 IST
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The brother of Kashmiri cricketer who was arrested and later released on Saturday in Bangalore on Sunday accused the police of the South Indian city of high handedness, saying his sibling was detained for objecting to use of sniffer dogs to check his bag which contains holy Quran.

"The police had used a sniffer dog for detection of any explosive material in their bags. Since there was a copy of holy Quran in the bag, my brother objected to the use of dog following which there was heated argument between him and the police which actually prompted his arrest," Asif, brother of Pervez Rasool of Bijbehara in Anantnag, said.

Pervez Rasool and Mehrajuddin, part of 15-member under-22 J&K cricket team to participate in C K Nayudu cricket tournament were arrested on Saturday by Bangalore police for allegedly carrying a bag "used for transporting explosive before". They were later released for lack of evidence.

Asif said he brother's objection was justified as "we cannot allow dogs to touch our holy book". He said his brother was harassed for nothing as the bag carried by him was given by the J&K Cricket Association (JKCA).

A senior JKCA member said the bags had been given to the players by the association before their departure and had been purchased in New Delhi recently.

Meanwhile, resentment against the humiliation of the two young cricketers is brewing with JKCA mulling over recalling the team unless the Karnataka police tender an apology.

"JKCA met today and reiterated its demand for an apology from Bangalore police. Our boys were harassed. The Bangalore police should apologise for the harassment of players," General Secretary of JKCA Saleem Khan said on Sunday.

Asked whether the team would be recalled, Khan said, "We are waiting for instructions from JKCA President Farooq Abdullah."

Abdullah, a Union Minister, told a private news channel in Jammu that "We cannot blame Bangalore police as they had been informed by some disgruntled elements or cricketers sidelined in the selection about the presence of explosive in the bags."

Describing Saturday's incident as "most unfortunate and shocking", Khan said the arrest of the two players has shocked the cricket lovers here who say the players were harassed as they belonged to the Kashmir valley.

"Such incidents are unfortunate and only add to the alienation. The incident should have been handled carefully without media hype," said a former cricketer.

Terming the incident as "disgrace" to sporting fraternity of the state, Ghulam Mohammad, joint secretary JKCA said the president of the association should intervene into the matter.

"There is a manager, a coach and other concerned officials with the team, so there is no fun in harassing our players," he said.

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