Shimla: A cricket match for protest. Ridge in Shimla is a regular venue for protest demonstrations, but never the type it was witnessed today. With around 300 school and college students getting together to play a cricket match on the Ridge, the message appeared clear why the youth were forced to play on the only visible open space in the town that is already too crowded to allow any recreational activity – because the state capital lacks parks – and these students wanted the administration to see it for themselves.
So as youths from all over the town gathered at the Ridge in the morning on the call given by YES (Youth Enlightenment and Society), which is running a campaign to make the government aware of lack of parks and community centres in Shimla, a strong message was conveyed to the civic body of the town to take note of the demand. As youngsters shouted slogans in unison forming a human chain around the Mall, the MC office just below too heard the echo, but no official cared to come out. Later the YES volunteers personally went to the mayor to invite her to witness the match, but the request was turned down.
As if that was not enough, while the match was being played policemen landed up there and took away the bats and the ball, claiming that permission was not taken from the authorities. However, Akarshan Chauhan, president of YES, claimed that due permission was taken from the home department for the protest.
As this report was being filed, cops reportedly took Akarshan with them for further questioning.
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