A banner calling for freedom for Kashmir flew over during a football match in the UK on Sunday. A plane carrying the banner “Free Kashmir, 2500 days occupied” flew over a football stadium in Manchester.
The incident happened during the football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United which was taking place at a stadium in Old Trafford, Great Manchester, England. The incident left the spectators amused and surprised. It is unclear as to who was flying the plane and who sponsored the banner. But this is not the first time, the incident has happened.
A similar incident happened back in 2019 as well in the UK during India and Sri Lanka Cricket World Cup match. Banners reading “Justice for Kashmir” and “India stop genocide & free Kashmir” were flown over Headingley.
This was the second incident of such a nature that has occurred in England and Wales. Earlier, a banner was flown across the same ground in Leeds, during Pakistan’s World Cup clash with Afghanistan.
— Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaViews) December 5, 2021
The aircraft emerged minutes after the India-Sri Lanka match commenced, carrying the banner, reading: “Justice for Kashmir”.
For over the past thirty years, Indian-occupied Kashmir has been gripped with violence and Indian brutality, causing the deaths of more than 70,000 civilians, unlawful arrests, brutal search and cordon operations, enforced disappearances, undocumented rapes, and more. The people of Kashmir have been protesting for their mandated right to freedom, as per the resolution of the UNSC.
Addressing the incident in a press statement, the International Cricket Council said, “We are incredibly disappointed this has happened again. We do not condone any sort of political messages at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.”
The statement added, “Throughout the tournament, we have worked with local police forces around the country to prevent this type of protest from occurring. After the previous incident, we were assured by West Yorkshire Police that there would not be a repeat of this issue, so we are very dissatisfied it has happened again.”