Bandipora sportsmen’s lifeline is on the line

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Bandipora, July 21: Imagine someone comes to your home, where you have been living for years, and asks you to leave because they want to reconstruct it for some other purpose! It sounds illogical. Doesn’t it? But this is what is exactly happening in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.


Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium, located in the middle of Bandipora town, is the only proper play-field in the district. Home to thousands of sportsmen, this stadium has been abuzz with various games throughout the 12 months for decades now.


However, last year, the Satyapal Malik-led Governor administration left the youth of Bandipora surprised. A group of his advisors arrived to inaugurate an athletic track inside the stadium.

Aghast sportsmen then held a protest just after the inauguration, saying, ‘it would make us homeless as the major games like football and cricket can’t be played here once the track is made.’


Soon, August 5 happened and like everything else, the matter faded. Before the sports enthusiasts could hit the ground again, Coronavirus came and kept everything on a standstill. Waiting to go back to their home, Bandipora’s sportspeople received yet another blow just about a month back.


J&K Sports Council invited the tenders for the construction of athletic track in this stadium. Left hopeless, the representatives of cricket association of the district decided to go to the High Court for this matter.


While the case is now in the court and would surely take a lot of time, the Bandipora sportsmen are yet again protesting. To make sure social distancing SOPs are followed, they are coming out in small groups.

Recently, the president of Bandipora Cricket Association, Saleem Jahangir, and other members, including that of the football fraternity, protested inside the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium, requesting administration to rethink about this decision.


Here, the question arises is why do people at the helm want to convert a stadium, where football and cricket are the major games played, into an athletic track? Before trying to seek an answer. Let’s know what exactly an athletic track means.


It’s a special synthetic track mainly used for athletic events like running, jumping, throwing, etc. Now, surley, once this track is made, there won’t be any place for a game like cricket and partly football as well.


The youth, in its protest, have clearly said that they have no problem with the construction of athletic track but what’s pinching them is it being built in this stadium.

So, administration, which claims to serve young people, are here actually making a mockery of their objectives.

Making an athletic track should be welcomed but not at a place, where it leaves people from other games homeless.
When the people, for whom the track is supposed to be built, aren’t happy with its location and are protesting, how is it anyway going to serve them? But who will answer this question?


The people who should have been busy playing are being forced to visit courts and fight cases. This surely tells us how sorry the state of affairs are in this part of the world.

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