Bandipora (Jammu and Kashmir), Mar 19 (ANI): The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) organized a T20 cricket tournament here with an eye on curtailing the stone pelting menace.
The CRPF distributed cricket kits to youths to prevent them from indulging in subversive activities like stone pelting.
The CRPF 45th Battalion Commander, Sonal Kumar, said since youths do not have anything creative to do, they indulge in such activities.
He further said that by participating in such tournaments, the youths would find the means to keep themselves occupied and lead better lives.
"If we involve the youth in creative activities then they will take up some creative work and this would prove a milestone," said Kumar.
"We fully believe that this would change their direction in life for the better and even for the country and for Kashmir, and this would be beneficial for them," he added.
More than 24 teams from different parts of the Valley took part in the tournament that was organised in Sumbal area of Bandipora district, around 35 kilometers from Srinagar.
The team from Safapora won the tournament by defeating the Sumbal team.
Mustafa Ahmad, a participant said that when the militants attacked the Parliament in 2004, it was cricket, which brought India and Pakistan face-to-face, adding that by organising such tournaments violence in the valley would come down and people's faith in the security forces can be restored.
"In 2004, when the Parliament was attacked, that time sports, cricket, was one medium, which brought India and Pakistan face-to-face. If we organise such tournaments then violence in Kashmir and the hatred among people against the forces would also come down," said Ahmad.
Other participants also expressed similar sentiments.
"Such tournaments should be organised because that would help develop brotherhood and cooperation and this would also make people realise that this 45th Battalion of CRPF are our own," said Khushed Ahmad, another participant.
"This would also help people to cooperate with the forces and would clear all misconceptions and cricket is a great way to do that. We are very happy to have participated in this tournament," added Ahmad.
Stone-pelting incidents have over the years become a common phenomenon in the valley region during agitations and protests, which claims many lives and make it difficult for the security forces to appease the situation. (ANI)