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January 23, 2020

Plane flies over Headingley with 'Justice for Kashmir' banner - Tip News

Plane flies over Headingley with 'Justice for Kashmir' banner

Plane flies over Headingley with 'Justice for Kashmir' banner
'A light aircraft tows a banner with the words "Justice for Kashmir" during the World Cup match between India and Sri Lanka at Headingley' - By: AFP Dibyangshu Sarkar

Banners reading "#Justice for Kashmir" and "India stop genocide & free Kashmir" were flown over Headingley during India's World Cup clash with Sri Lanka on Saturday.

It followed last week's incident when a banner was flown over the same ground in Leeds during the match between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since they gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947 but both claim the Himalayan territory in full.

An insurgency on the Indian side over the past three decades has left more than 70,000 dead, mainly civilians.

"We are incredibly disappointed this has happened again," the International Cricket Council said in a statement. "We do not condone any sort of political messages at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.

"Throughout the tournament we have worked with local police forces around the country to prevent this type of protest occurring. After the previous incident we were assured by West Yorkshire Police there would not be a repeat of this issue, so we are very dissatisfied it has happened again."

The ICC said it had been assured by police that there would not be a repeat of the incidents during the semi-finals in Manchester and Birmingham.

Last week's group game between Pakistan and Afghanistan was marred by clashes between fans, prompting a police probe.

The ugly scenes were sparked by the flying of a banner over the ground reading: "Justice for Balochistan."

Balochistan, Pakistan's largest and poorest province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is rife with Islamist, separatist and sectarian insurgencies.

The Pakistani military has been waging war on militants there since 2004, and security forces are frequently targeted.

Later Saturday, another banner was flown over the stadium reading "Help end mob lynching in India"

Dozens of people have been killed by Hindu groups over the past five years over allegations that they had slaughtered cows or eaten beef.

Critics have accused the government of right-wing Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi of turning a blind eye to vigilante attacks on minority Muslims in the name of cow protection.

Modi has called the deaths "unacceptable" and called the mobs "anti-social" in his rare comments on the cases.

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