No posters, banners, placards or anything else that can be used as a background for text messages will be allowed inside the stadium when India take on Sri Lanka in the 1st T20I of the three-match series in Guwahati, Assam, on Sunday.
“Other than mobile phone and purse, no other item will be allowed inside the stadium,” Assam Cricket Association (ACA) secretary Devajit Saikia was quoted as saying by ANI on eve of the match on Saturday.
The statement comes on the back of protests across Assam over the Indian government’s recent Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which have led to curfews, internet shutdowns and at least four deaths in the state so far. At least 3000 people were detained and 190 people were arrested over the month of December in Assam over this issue.
Placards showing ‘W’, ‘4’ and ‘6’ will also not be allowed because they could be used for surrogate advertisements, the ACA secretary was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. Also on the list of banned items is marker pens.
PTI quoted the secretary as saying that also on the list of banned items is the ‘gamosa’ – the traditional Assamese cloth that was used as an emblem of protests in the state.
However, the ACA secretary said that the decision to not allow posters has nothing to do with the protests. “Everybody is concerned, not just the people of Assam. This is an international event and will have heightened security measures,” Saikia said, referring to the incident in 2017 when a stone was thrown at the Australia team bus. “We have to be prepared,” he said.
HT quoted the ACA secretary as explaining that the decision to ban posters is not because of the protests but because of the end of an arrangement between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and a beverage company, information of which the ACA got around a week back.
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