Srinagar, June 18 (IANS) As the Pakistan team tightened its grip on the ICC Champions Trophy cricket final in England, firecrackers were burst by Kashmiris in Srinagar and several other places of the Valley even before the match ended.
Joy was palpable in both old and uptown areas of Srinagar as youths came out of their homes to celebrate the anticipated victory of Pakistan.
Authorities did not deploy security forces in old city areas to avoid a face-off between the celebrating youths and the security forces.
“After all, it is just a game and the better team would win. We don’t want to read too much into this because support for the Pakistan team has been known even much before separatist violence started here,” said a senior police officer who tried to play down the development.
Markets, roads and transport in Srinagar had shut much before the match started between the two arch rivals.
People rushed home early not to miss the beginning of the crucial match.
After Pakistan put up 338 runs and India lost five early wickets, youths were seen dancing and rejoicing at many places in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley.