New Delhi: Hooliganism is at its peak as the Anti-Terrorist Front of India (ATFI), which has been opposing playing of Pakistan cricket team in India, has threatened to dig up the pitch of Eden Gardens which is slated to host a India-Pakistan match on March 19 in the ICC World Twenty20.
The ATFI has written to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee against hosting the cricket match. They have claimed that it is an insult to all brave soldiers who were martyred in attacks.
"Hosting the Pakistanis is an insult to all brave soldiers who were martyred in attacks. We have written to the (West Bengal) Chief Minister urging her not to allow any kind of arrangement including security for the match," ATFI National President Viresh Shandilya said.
The ATFI wants the terror masterminds behind the Mumbai, Pathankot and the recent Pampore attacks to be handed over to India by Pakistan and then they will be fine with it.
Shandilya also said that the ATFI activists will be launching agitation across Kolkata at various places including the Eden Gardens, team hotels and airport from March 14 onwards.
"We are determined to prevent this match from happening and for that we are ready to dig up the Eden (Gardens) pitch. We are also seeking the intervention of the Union Home Ministry so that Pakistan team is not allowed to enter India," he said.
The Indo-Pak match has seen it getting polarised to a large extent as the venue was shifted from Dharamsala to Kolkata citing security concerns.
Earlier, the ATFI had also threatened to dig up the pitch at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium in Dharamsala that was to host the March 19 India-Pakistan match.
The Shiv Sena and organisations such as ATFI, who are extremists by nature, were the main protestors behind the organisation of the match in Dharamsala. Also the Himachal Pradesh chief minister had stated the state will not provide security despite the BCCI giving a clear go.
With Pakistan concerned about the security reasons, they had decided to hold the team and not come to India until Friday where the matter was solved.
Delighted at the match being shifted to Kolkata, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had written a letter to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly, assuring him that her government would provide the required security for the match on March 19.
It will be interesting to see how far the ATFI goes in disrupting the epic clash.
(With PTI inputs)