हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Cricket heals religious tension in Uttar Pradesh

Published: Thursday, November 17, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi:India's obsession with cricket has come to the rescue of police officers battling religious riots in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, reports said.

Police organised cricket matches between Hindus and Muslims to diffuse tension in the small town of Mau where 12 people were killed and 40 injured during riots last month sparked during the Hindu festival of Diwali and the Muslim celebration of Eid-al Fitr.

Local police chief Rajendra Pal Singh, who organised the matches during the relaxation in curfew hours, told the United News of India (UNI) that the move paid off.

"Such social events were useful and necessary to heal the scars created by communal riots," said Singh, who himself took part in the matches along with other administration officials.

"Long periods of curfew extending up to one month have been quite boring and organising cricket matches was far more relaxing."

Asked which team won the matches, Singh said: "The winner was the cause and the sweeping desire to come closer to maintain communal harmony."

The curfew was finally lifted earlier this week, but Singh promised to continue organising cricket matches at regular intervals.

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