KOLKATA, India (Reuters) – For the Real Kashmir Football Club, known as the Snow Leopards, this has been a tough week, which is saying something for a team based in one of the most militiarized regions of the world where stone pelting and the sound of gunfire are regular occurrences.
Kashmiri members of the team, which plays in India’s top men’s league, have lost contact with their families since leaving Srinagar on Monday to head to Kolkata to play in the Durand Cup, the oldest football tournament in Asia.
Departure - Crackdown - Government - Arrival - Tens
Their departure coincided with a major crackdown by the Indian government, including the arrival of tens of thousands more troops in Kashmir, the detention of hundreds of local leaders and activists, the severing of phone and internet links, and a curfew-like ban on most movement by local residents.
The clampdown was intended to prevent security problems, such as rioting, as the government announced on Monday that it would move to end Jammu and Kashmir state’s right to set some of its own laws. That means outsiders will now be allowed to buy property there and residents will lose their rights to state government jobs and college places.
Homes - None - Kashmiri - Players - Till
“Once we landed, we tried frantically to talk to our homes but none of the Kashmiri players have been able to do that till now,” said Mohammed Hammad, a defender...
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