Pakistan pulled off a thrilling one-wicket victory against old rivals India in the Asia Cup on Sunday, but when student fans from Kashmir celebrated the win, a university in Uttar Pradesh sent 67 of them home.
According to the Hindustan Times, the vice-chancellor of Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Dr. Manzoor Ahmad, said he was "taken aback by such an unacceptable gesture of a few students."
Kashmir is a disputed territory and is currently administered by three countries: Pakistan, India and China.
The Hindustan Times' report suggests that the students' behaviour would, in another context, have been seen as inconsequential:
A few Kashmiri students clapped every time an Indian player's wicket fell, and later celebrated the Pakistan win.
"Some students complained that a few students reportedly shouted Pakistan zindabad on way to their rooms," said Ahmad.
He said the authorities initially decided to suspend only those students who had shouted slogans.
"But a three-tier inquiry finally recommended all 67 Kashmiri students residing in Madan Dhingra Hostel be suspended indefinitely because they didn't reveal the names of the handful of wrongdoers actually involved in creating trouble," Ahmad said.
Local paper Greater Kashmir suggested the number of students expelled was still higher, and additionally indicated that there had also been skirmishes between Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri students.
University officials have set up an investigation into the incident.
It underlines just how seriously cricket is taken in the country—let alone in a disputed territory shared between the two nations.
India and Pakistan will not meet again in the Asia Cup after Pakistan sealed a place in the final against Sri Lanka.
But they will meet again on March 21 in a Twenty20 match at the World Twenty20, again in Bangladesh.
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