June 2017 News

Crackers Go Off In Kashmir As Pak Pulls Off Stunning Win Over India

18 June 2017
Rising Kashmir
Qazi Wasif

Srinagar: Cricket fever reached its crescendo in Kashmir with India and Pakistan clashing at the ICC Champions Trophy finals on Sunday. The cricket enthusiasts set alight crackers across the valley with the men in green beating the arch rivals by a huge margin of 180 runs. Amid the festive atmosphere, crackers witnessed spike in sales. 'People as young as 8 and as old as 80 came to buy crackers,' said a fire cracker vendor in the downtown area of Srinagar. Salman Maqbool of Habak bought crackers for around Rs 5000. 'I often buy crackers whenever there is an India-Pakistan match,' said Salman. The crackers cost in the range of Rs 10 to Rs 200. 'People mostly ask for the most expensive crackers as they produce maximum sound. We have a sale of around Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 on such occasions,' said another cracker vendor. Many firecracker wholesale dealers in downtown Srinagar had sold crackers in bulk to retailers. President of Maharaja Bazaar Traders Association, Khursheed Ahamd Shah said people used to buy crackers for weddings, Eid and other festive occasions. 'But now they have no reason to celebrate because of the deteriorating situation in the valley but whenever Pakistan plays India, people come and buy crackers in huge numbers,' he said. Tensions run high in the valley whenever India and Pakistan meet each other in a sporting event. Tension gripped Shopian township in south Kashmir recently after clashes erupted between the forces and the local youth who took to streets bursting crackers and shouting pro-Pakistan slogans to celebrate Pakistan cricket team's win over Sri Lanka in Champions trophy. The incident occurred in Vehil village late on Monday night when Pakistan cricket team defeated Sri Lanka and entered the Champions Trophy semi-finals. Scores of youth came out of their homes and started celebrating Pakistan's victory by bursting crackers and shouting slogans.