As per news reports, a cricket tournament that recently concluded in the region Tral in South Kashmir, was being held in memory of Khalid Muzaffar Wani, the brother of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani.
The tournament is further said to have many teams like – Burhan Lions, Aabid Khan Qalandars and Khalid Aryans which were allegedly named after alleged Kashmiri militants.
According to an event organizer, the tournament was in Memory of Khalid Muzaffar Wani, who was killed by the Indian Army last year when he had gone to meet his brother in the forests of Pulwama, which is a militant stronghold.
After the encounter, the Indian Army had clarified that Khalid himself was a militant
. At a time when Kashmir has become a hot topic of controversy in India, the two-month-long tournament — which was the first of its kind in Tral— saw participation from 16 teams out of which at least three team names are said to have been inspired by militant commanders.
It must also be noted that rest of the 13 teams drew inspiration from either Indian Premier League (IPL) or the recently launched Pakistan Super League (PSL) for names.
Of the three inspired by militant names, Burhan Lions was named after Burhan, who is known local name in the area and is known to love cricket.
He is believed to have left home in 2010 so he could join Hizbul Mujahideen and is now the most famous face of militancy in Kashmir. The second team ‘The Khalid Aryans’ is said to have been named after Burhan brother Khalid.
The ‘Aabid Khan Qalandars’ is believed to have been named after Hizbul commander Aabid Khan, who was killed in 2014 during an encounter.
Body of Militant Aabid Khan Getty
The above encounter had at that time also claimed the life of an Army colonel.
The tournament that lasted for two months saw ‘The Khalid Aryans’ pick up the trophy on April 24, 2016 when they defeated ‘The United XI of Tral’ in finals.
The reports also stated that “Pro-freedom songs” were played during the opening ceremony of the tournament, while at the finals, Khalid and Burhan’s father Muzaffar Ahmad Wani was invited as chief guest.