The Hush Post| 4:29 pm |one-minute-read| There was a big security breach, which needed immediate attention by New Delhi and London after a small aircraft flew over Headingley, thrice on Saturday, trailing a banner which had messages which were anti-India.
The International Cricket Council (ICC)’s request for a “no-fly zone” over the historic ground was not acted upon by the relevant authorities, The Telegraph newspaper reported.
That calls for an inquiry as the aircraft could have been deliberately crashed — in a repeat of 9/11 — or something harmful dropped either on the field of play or over the stands.
According to ‘The Telegraph’ report “This, after all, is an era of terrorism and the hosts have themselves suffered acts of terror which have taken lives. That’s why it’s shocking.”
The aircraft first overflew Headingley in the third over of the Sri Lanka innings. The banner then read: ‘JUSTICE FOR KASHMIR’.
Later the aircraft appeared in the 17th over and the banner carried an even more aggressive message: ‘INDIA STOP GENOCIDE & FREE KASHMIR’.
That, of course, wasn’t enough.
In the latter half of the Indian innings, the aircraft again emerged, this time the banner read: ‘HELP END MOB LYNCHING IN INDIA’.
The West Yorkshire Police have a lot to answer for. As for the ICC, a spokesman said: “We aren’t a civil aviation body nor are we from the police. We’ve done what is in our hands.”
Read between the lines and it’s a sharp indictment of the concerned authorities. Did the aircraft take off from a commercial airport or a private airstrip? Who owns it? Who hired it? Is any investigation going on regarding it.
There are so many questions which need to be answered and it’s beyond the Board of Control for Cricket in India to seek them.
New Delhi has to take it up with London as the India team was playing.
After the first two ‘sorties’ by the aircraft, the ICC had emailed a statement: “We are incredibly disappointed this happened again (first time was the Pakistan vs Afghanistan match, which saw an anti-Islamabad banner)…
“We do not condone any sort of political messages…
“Throughout, we have worked with local police forces around the country to prevent that type of protest occurring…
“After the previous incident, we were assured by the West Yorkshire Police there would not be a repeat, so we are very dissatisfied it has happened again.”
Surely, the ICC needs to take it further than simply being “dissatisfied.”