India arrests 15 villagers for cheering Pakistan cricketers

Celebration Becomes Sedition under BJP Rule

In 2014, 66 Muslims were charged with "disturbing communal harmony" and were kicked out of their university for supporting Pakistan. The hatred-driven rhetoric that filled the airwaves forces us to ask, whatever happened to sportsmanship?

Passion between the two countries' cricket fans runs high, particularly during this year's Championship Trophy, which was the first time India and Pakistan played each other in a major final since 2007.

The authorities descended upon them, took them into custody, and charged them with sedition - a charge which potentially carries life imprisonment if convicted.

The villagers were arrested in thr Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh state on Monday after police received a complaint that they set off firecrackers and shouted slogans following Pakistan's dramatic win on Sunday.

Indian cricket team, who were crushed by Pakistan in Champions trophy 2017, had won the same title this day in 2013 (June 23, 2013).

The accused were presented before the court on Tuesday and sent to jail.

Amir and Hasan Ali's three wickets each guided Pakistan to bowl out India for just 158 runs in 30.3 overs.

Asmita Basu, Programmes Director of Amnesty International India, said "it is not a crime" to support Pakistan.

In a press release, the organisation expressed concern over the arrest, terming it as "another worrying sign of the erosion of freedom of expression in India". Amir Liaquat who has been succeeding in getting cheap publicity has again managed to do the same by saying absurd statements about the Indian Cricket Team in his show "Aisa Nahi Chalega".

Across the border, a Pakistani man was arrested in 2016 for waving an Indian flag as his sporting hero Indian captain Virat Kohli scored a century.

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