Sena protests against Pak hockey players, disrupts practice
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Shiv Sena workers on Sunday protested against the inclusion of four Pakistani players in the Mumbai team of the Hockey India League (HIL). Around 100 Shiv Sainiks gathered at the Mumbai Hockey Association Limited (MHAL) Stadium here and disrupted the practice session of the 'Mumbai Magicians' team which includes 10 foreigners.
"Pakistan killed two of our Army men at the LoC last week. How can their players be allowed in our country? We will not allow Pakistani players in Mumbai," said Panduran Sakhpal, Shiv Sena shaka pramukh, who was leading the protests.
The four Pakistanis in the 'Mumbai Magicians' team — Mahmood Rasheed, Mahmood Tousik, Farid Ahmed and Imran Butt — were whisked away to their hotel. The 'Mumbai Magicians', owned by the Dabur Group, is scheduled to leave for Delhi tomorrow.
"We did not see this coming. We were assured by the HIL board that they have sought all the necessary permissions regarding the participation of Pakistani players and we bid for them only after that," said Dabur Group managing director Mohit Burman.
Meanwhile, Hockey India general secretary and HIL chairman Narinder Batra called a high-level meeting with the team owners and the HIL board late in the evening to review the participation of Pakistani players. Apart from the 'Uttar Pradesh Wizards', all other teams have at least one player from Pakistan in their squad.