After Shiv Sena protests in Mumbai forced the team to shift training base to Delhi, Hockey India decided to play safe and send the team's Pakistani signings back.
"Fearing escalation of tension, the Hockey India's Governing Council has taken the decision to send back the four Pakistani players in the Mumbai team," a top Hockey India official said.
The four players who would be sent back are Mahmood Rashid, Fareed Ahmed, Muhammad Tousiq and Imran Butt and they are expected to take the flight home this evening.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation has been informed about the decision and the circumstances under which it was taken. The PHF has expressed understanding of the situation.
"The contracts of the four Pakistani players would remain valid and the payments would be made to them although they would not be playing in any of the matches," the official said.
In all, there are nine players contracted to play in the five-team Hockey India League, which got underway yesterday.
"We will take a decision about the other Pakistani players depending on how the situation pans out. If we feel that there could be more trouble, we may have to take an
appropriate decision," he said.
The league ran into rough weather after the killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistan Army on January 8 in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mumbai Magicians, based in Mumbai, became the obvious target because of its large number of Pakistani recruits and the presence of right-wing outfit Shiv Sena's stronghold on the city.
Over 100 Sena workers had protested against the participation of Pakistani players in the Mumbai franchise and disrupted the scheduled practise session on Sunday. This
prompted the team management to shift base to Delhi.
On the inaugural day, two supporters from Hindu Yuwak Sabha attempted to invade the turf at the National Stadium, the venue where the opening match between Delhi Waveriders and Punjab Warriors was on yesterday.
The Mumbai team is scheduled to play its first match against Delhi in the capital tomorrow. Their first home match in the tournament is scheduled for January 20, against the Punjab team.
The other Pakistani players in the league are Mohammed Rizwan Jr, Mohammed Rizwan Sr (Delhi Wave Riders), Kashif Shah (Punjab Warriors), Muhammed Irfan and Shafqat Rasool (Ranchi Rhinos).
Pakistan troops violated the ceasefire, crossed over into Indian territory and gruesomely killed 2 Indian soldiers (Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh), mutilated and decapitated both and carried one head back with them on January 6.
WELL DONE; GREAT DECISION. WE SHOULD NOT GIVE LEVERAGE TO GAMES OVER THE LIFE OF OUR CITIZEN AND THE INTEGRITY OF OUR COUNTRY. LET THERE BE NO BACKDOOR ACTIONS FROM THOSE AT THE CENTER. UNLESS PAKISTAN CHANGES, ITS PLAYERS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE SOIL OF INDIA. ASHES OF HEMRAJ IS CONVERGED IN INDIAN SOIL AND PAKIS SHOULD NOT PLAY STANDING ON THAT SOIL. IT IS A GREAT SIN TOWARDS THE DEPARTED SOUL. ALTERNATIVELY, IF THEY CAN, LET THEM COME WITH THE HEAD OF HEMRAJ. WE ARE HUMAN, STILL WE CAN COURAGE TO BEAR THAT INHUMAN JOB OF PAKIS AND RECEIVE THE HEAD OF THE GREAT MARTYR.
It is a shame that GoI continues these peace dance with Pakis...shame on Manmohan Singh & Sonia....
We need funds for modernisation of the Defense forces and what these idiots are talking about donating money to Paki players for not even playing. HIL thinks that there are living in the GOLDEN ERA of India to donate money to those people who don't even have any respect for our conutry..wow!!! Shiv Sena under the banner of " Maratha Tituka Milvava Ani Swatahacha Bhamta Bhonga Pasrava" has again shown how opportunistic it is to pounce in the political arena by giving a symptomatic response but have and always would fail to bring about real changes at the Systemic level. There is a huge PEACE INDUSTRY flourishing on the same lines of the WAR INDUSTRY and the stake-holders are not going to let off their invested money. Lets see how things unravel from here....it is very good to see that these crooks are exposed!!!
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