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Indian cricket star ‘terribly abused’ online after humiliation in Pakistan

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New Delhi (AFP)

Violence against Muslims in India was also reported after Sunday’s emphatic 10-wicket victory, Pakistan’s first against India in a World Cup.

Cricket clashes between Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan regularly lead to tensions between neighbors, who have fought three wars since their independence in 1947.

Shami, 31, became the main target after the defeat in Dubai, even as Indian captain Virat Kohli admitted his side had been “outplayed”.

Hundreds of messages were left on Shami’s Instagram account saying he was a “traitor” and should be kicked out of the Indian team.

But many fans and politicians also pushed for support for him, urging Indian players to reject the hate speech, just as they had supported the Black Lives Matter movement by getting on their knees.

“Team India, your BLM knee bend counts for nothing if you can’t stand up for your teammate who is being horribly abused and trolled on social media,” Omar Abdullah, a former prime minister in the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, said on Twitter.

“Ignore the haters, most of India’s grateful for your efforts,” said another supporter on Instagram.

People started celebratory gunfire in Pakistan’s cities of Islamabad and Karachi after the famous victory, while hundreds set off fireworks in Muslim-majority Indian Kashmir, where troops are fighting an insurgency.

Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian cricketer turned MP for the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party, said it was “embarrassing” that people were celebrating Pakistan’s victory.

In Punjab, state students from Kashmir said they had been beaten up.

A student at a technical and technological institute said dozens of men armed with hockey sticks and batons attacked them as they watched the game’s closing stages.

“They came into our room, turned off the lights and beat us. They destroyed our laptops,” the student told AFP, on condition of anonymity for fear of more trouble.

“We are now safe and we have support from our university. But we were not expecting this at all. We are Indians.”

The match also sparked violence in neighboring Bangladesh. Two Pakistani supporters were beaten by Indian fans in a southern district as they celebrated the victory, media reported.

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