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Jan 15, 2013 at 11:42am IST

Anti-Pakistan protesters try to disrupt Hockey India League

New Delhi: Protesters from the Hindu Yuvak Sabah of Hindu Sena invaded the pitch and shouted anti-Pakistan slogans during the inaugural match of the Hockey India League (HIL) here at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Monday, demonstrating their anger over the participation of Pakistan players in the league.

A couple of men carrying placards went onto the playing area that is strictly prohibited. But somehow they managed to escape everyone's eye and ran onto the pitch to show their protest. However, they were immediately overpowered by the security guards.

The incident happened during the second quarter of the match between Delhi Waveriders and Jaypee Punjab Warriors. The two men took advantage of everyone focused on the other half of the pitch, where the ball was in play. They invaded the vacant part of the ground and started shouting slogans with placards held towards the gallery.

Anti-Pakistan Protesters try to disrupt HIL

Protesters from the Hindu Yuvak Sabah of Hindu Sena invaded the pitch shouting anti-Pakistan slogans during the inaugural match.

While the play went on, two security guards immediately caught the two men, dragging them off the field. Later it was discovered that they belonged to the Hindu Yuvak Sabha.

Sayeed Kashif Shah (Jaypee Punjab Warriors), Mohammad Rizwan Jr. and Mohammed Rizwan Sr. (Delhi Waveriders), Shafqat Rasool and Mohammed Irfan (Ranchi Rhinos) and Mahmood Tousiq, Mahmood Rashid, Fareed Ahmed and Imran Butt (Mumbai Magicians) were awarded visa at the eleventh hour and are now with their respective teams to play the franchise-based league. UP Wizards did not buy any Pakistan player in the players' auction held in December 2012.

Relations between the two countries became tense after two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistan army at the LOC earlier this month. Some reports indicated that it might be the reason for the delay in providing visas to the Pakistan players. But sources in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said that the delay was due to procedural issues and not due to any change in the process for awarding Indian visas to Pakistani nationals.