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 read further.
Rajesh Kumar, the inspector general of the Jammu police, said acting on a tip off, they searched all Jammu hotels and the Ranji team was not targeted "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. The 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.
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 isn’t 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 has denounced the police action. "As the 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 NDTV.
Wazir said the police should have known 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 the police should have input about each one of us. They should have known that the team is stationed in the hotel," Wazir said.
Image: All-rounder Samiullah Beigh narrated the horror on Facebook