15 July 2002
It's a very risky pastime nowadays being a cricket fan, especially if you are gathered around a radio and living in Kashmir and Jammu, a region under Indian control, located between Islamic Pakistan and Hindu dominated India.
On July 13, 27 cricket mad Indian fans gathered around a radio listening to the England v India match were murdered by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, fighting for control of Kashmir. The terrorists, dressed in the robes of Hindu holy men, infiltrated a slum area where they proceeded to indiscriminately shoot men, women and children who had gathered in a village to listen to the cricket match. Amongst the dead, 12 men, 14 women and a three year old child.
Indian police and military forces rushed to the area where they engaged the terrorists in a four hour gun battle, however, they were unable to kill or capture the gunmen who were able to escape under the cover of darkness. Although, no single group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Indian intelligence sources have determined it was as a result of the Pakistani government's lack of effort in trying to prevent such attacks, which they have promised to do so on an ongoing basis, but seem to be making very little effort to do, if any.
This is not the first time that cricket has been the target of a Islamic terrorist plot. In early February 2002, Indian intelligence authorites were alerted of a plot to kidnap Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly and champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar. As a result of information received, the authorities were able to safeguard against the kidnapping, but the terrorists were still able to cause enough concern for India to utilise and tie up the resources of around 2,000 police and military personel.
Although, the murders on July 13 are the first time that cricket fans have been killed by Islamic terrorists fighting in the name of their religion, there is absolutley no doubt that this will not be the last time cricket fans feel the wrath of thes lunatic individuals, who doing nothing more than promote murder and violence. Unless Indian authorities move to end the violence once and for all by seeking out and destroying terrorists on their own ground, in a manner similar to the United States after Sept 11, cricket fans, followers and maybe even players in India, will always be a target to some degree, as a result of the huge following and crowds attracted to cricket matches in India. Large crowds attract attention and this is exactly what these terrorists are looking for.....attention and publicity for their murderous and primitive cause!
Video Report of Kashmir Attack from CNN - No Download Required
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If you have an interest in learning more about Kashmir and Jammu, itís history, geography, culture and political problems. There are a number of excellent books available, which you can view from clicking the links in the graphic below.