Man threatens to kill himself if India-England T20I series is not cancelled amid COVID-19 spike

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 16, 2021, 01:43 PM(IST)

Man threatens to kill himself if India-England T20I series is not cancelled amid COVID-19 spike Photograph:( AFP )

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A probe has been initiated after a person called a police officer, who is part of the security arrangements for the ongoing T20I between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, and threatened to self-immolate if the upcoming matches in the world's largest cricket stadium were not cancelled following the rise of COVID-19 cases in the city.  

A probe has been initiated after a person called a police officer, who is part of the security arrangements for the ongoing T20I between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, and threatened to self-immolate if the upcoming matches in the world's largest cricket stadium were not cancelled following the rise of COVID-19 cases in the city.  

The five-match T20I series, which started on March 12, has witnessed a crowd of more than 60,000 at the stadium. The stadium had hosted the last two Tests of the four-match series against England with a 50 per cent crowd.  

According to reports, an FIR was lodged at Chandkheda police station in Ahmedabad after the call - identified as Pankaj Patel from Gandhinagar, rang up senior police inspector KV Patel of Chandkheda Police Station on March 12 and threatened to immolate himself if the matches continued in the stadium, as per the police.  

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On Saturday, an audio clip of the conversation surfaced on social media in which the caller, is heard asking the police officer whether the COVID-19 related guidelines were being followed inside the stadium by the crowd. 

The officer purportedly said that the social-distancing guidelines are not being followed with the caller demanding cancellation of the matches and then went on to threaten to self-immolate while saying that over 75,000 people are attending the matches which can pose a health risk.  

Police have booked the accused under IPC sections 502 (2) for trying to promote hatred or ill will between classes, 504 for intentional insult, and 507 for criminal intimidation through anonymous communication. 

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“The man had called on my cell phone on March 12 and threatened to immolate himself if the matches are held. He also used abusive words for the Gujarat government, the Chief Minister, and the Deputy Chief Minister. When I asked his name, he told me he is Pankaj Patel from Gandhinagar. I immediately called up Gandhinagar police control room and shared his phone number with the officials,” K V Patel stated in the FIR as quoted in media reports. 

On Tuesday, it was announced by the BCCI that the remaining matches of the five-match T20I series between India and England will be played behind closed doors.

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