Mumbai Magicians, a franchise of Hockey India League, have reportedly agreed to remove four Pakistani players from the team after around 500 Shiv Sainiks staged a demonstration at the Mumbai Hockey Association grounds opposite Churchgate station on Sunday.
The team was scheduled to hold a practice session at the venue and sources that it was cancelled due to the protest. They added that the four players were in the dressing room and left immediately after hearing about the demonstration.
Shiv Sena south Mumbai vibhag pramukh Pandurang Sakpal said, “We have asked them to remove the Pakistani players from the team,” said Sakpal and added that the organisers had agreed to do so.
“It is wrong to invite Pakistanis to play here when our army personnel are being attacked and killed along the border. It is an open secret that relations between the two countries have not improved in many years,” he said.
The Azad Maidan police have arrested 16 Sena activists who were part of the demonstrations. They have been booked for rioting and for other unlawful activities.
The protests were held after ceasefire violations across the Line of Control in Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir. Two Indian soldiers were allegedly killed by the Pakistan army on January 8 and one of them was found with his head severed which resulted in heavy cross-fire across the LoC.