Mumbai, Jan 13: Shiv Sena activists Sunday protested against the participation of Pakistani players in six matches of the Hockey India League starting next week.
Heavy police deployment around the Bombay Hockey Association stadium ensured that there was no untoward incident and the practice sessions went on peacefully.
Nine Pakistani players began their practice at the stadium here Sunday.
Shiv Sena workers gathered around the stadium and shouted slogans against the government for inviting Pakistani hockey players to India.
The players were later escorted out of the stadium by police as the protesters refused to budge. However, they stressed that they would remain peaceful.
“We are here to peacefully register our protest against the government for inviting Pakistani players to India. We have no intention of attacking them or indulging in any violence,” said a party activist.
The Indian high commission in Islamabad Friday issued visas to the nine Pakistani players for the inaugural Hockey India League starting Monday in New Delhi. The players reached India Saturday.
Hockey India’s associate vice president Manoj Bhore told reporters that they had sought adequate security from Mumbai Police for the six matches to be played in Churchgate in south Mumbai.