Anti-Terrorist Front writes to Mamata against hosting Pakistan

Kolkata: The Anti-Terrorist Front of India (ATFI) that has threatened to dig up the Eden Gardens slated to host the India-Pakistan tie in the World Twenty20, has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee against hosting the cricket match.

The ATFI has been opposing hosting of the Pakistan team until the terror masterminds behind the Mumbai, Pathankot and the recent Pampore attacks are handed over to India by Pakistan.

“Hosting the Pakistanis is an insult to all brave soldiers who were martyred in this attack. We have written to the chief minister urging her not to allow any kind of arrangement including security for the match,” ATFI national president Viresh Shandilya told IANS.

Shandilya said ATFI activists will be launching agitations across Kolkata including the Eden Gardens, the team hotels and the 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 pitch. We are also seeking the intervention of the union home ministry so that Pakistan team is not allowed to enter India,” added Shandilya.

The organisation 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.

Citing security reasons, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday relocated the India versus Pakistan group stage match to Kolkata.

Delighted at the match being shifted to Kolkata, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday wrote to Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly assuring him that her government will provide the requisite security for the match on March 19.