Jammu and Kashmir Ranji cricketers had to endure a torrid time on Tuesday when they were woken up in the middle of the night and questioned for hours by the police, which was looking for a suspected militant.
The incident happened hours before the cricketers were to play against Hyderabad on the final day of their Ranji Trophy Group C match, which ended in a draw later.
Team all-rounder Samiullah Beigh narrated the incident on his Facebook page. "Cudnt sleep whole night....police came to search our hotel at midnight and questioned us for hours at 1:15am in the night," Beigh wrote.
"We dnt lock our doors as only our Ranji trophy team stays in that hotel. we r still feeling d shock n horror of finding uniformed people with guns surrounding us when v wre fast asleep," his comment further read.
Rajesh Kumar, the Inspector General of Jammu Police, said acting on a tp off, they searched all Jammu hotels and the Ranji team was not targetted "specifically".
"We searched most of the hotels in Jammu...a routine check-up. We did not have the prior information that the Ranji team is staying in the hotel. Police was not aware of the fact that they are the members of the Ranji team. So it is possible they must have been questioned," Kumar said.
He told reporters that there was "no case of humilation and harrasment" of any of the players.
Asked about the allegation that the players were grilled by the Police for over one and a half hours and their identity cards checked, Kumar said, "They (police personnel) verified their (players') antecedents. They checked their cards and and found PK and immediately after that they departed from the hotel."
A furiuos Beigh said even if it was a routine check up, the treatment meted out to them was not appropriate. "whether deliberate harassment or routine check up, surely this isnt d way to treat bunch of guys with national and international repute, especially when u r playing the most important match of the jk cricket history," he wrote.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) has denounced the police action. "As Police say, it may be routine check up, I won't say anything about that but conducting a routine check up in the middle of the night is going to harass anybody. If they had any routine check up, they should have come early but coming late in the night would obviously harass (players)," JKCA treasurer Manzoor Wazir said.
"Our players were already under stress as a crucial match was on. We have officially closed the matter because we want our boys to focus on next match," Wazir told a leading news channel.
Wazir said the police should have know about the fact that the state Ranji players were staying in that hotel. "They have their own ways of saying things but let me tell you clearly, we are playing in our own state and police should have input about each one of us. They should have known that the team is stationed in the hotel," Wazir said.
The Jammu and Kashmir cricket team, meanwhile, on Wednesday denied that any of its players were harassed by the police.
“Yes, police came to our hotel at midnight, but not in a least bit they harassed us. They even did not search our rooms. They simply asked us to show our identity cards,” Parvez Rasool, the captain of the team, told a news website.
“It was mistakenly reported that we were harassed. Otherwise nothing went wrong in the hotel,” Aadil Reshi, who is a leading scorer in the tournament added.