This Article is From Oct 20, 2009

Be careful, Kashmiri wounds are raw: Omar

Jammu: On Monday, a 39-year-old Chief Minister batted for a 21-year-old cricketer from his state, who was treated like a suspected terrorist this weekend. In doing so, Omar Abdullah used strong words: "I have always told all the state time and again to be careful about Kashmiri boys...because the wounds are raw and it adds salt to them..."

He was speaking for Pervez Rasool, who at 21 has been playing cricket for the Jammu and Kashmir team for the last five years. And on Saturday, was treated like a suspected terrorist by police in far-off Bangalore.

Police in Karnataka detained him for several hours after bomb detectors had apparently picked up traces of explosives in his cricketing gear.

The arrest caused a storm - his entire team refused to leave the stadium in solidarity with Pervez. Soon, the police released him admitting a lack of evidence.

In Srinagar, a humiliated family is angry. They say Pervez was targeted only because he was a Kashmiri Muslim.

And batting for Pervez, is India's youngest chief minister. "Today we got to know that the machine was faulty and unnecessarily Pervez was made the scapegoat..."
Omar said.

In Bangalore, the police is refusing to speak until it gets the forensic test results of Pervez's bag. Shankar Bidari, Commissioner of Police, Bangalore says: "When the FSL report comes, I will answer. We cannot talk irresponsibly. That issue is closed."

The Jammu and Kashmir cricket association wants an apology. At a time when the Prime Minister is making peace moves in the valley, the question remains - was this the police just doing their job? Or was this prejudice?