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Spectators Stand in Solidarity for Kathua Rape Victim at Football Tournaments in Kerala

Viewers of Koyappa Sevens football tournament at Koduvally in Kozhikode district held up their mobile phones with its flashlight switched on before the Friday match’s kick off. Some of the spectators were also holding placards and chanting slogans.

Asheem PK | News18

Updated:April 15, 2018, 7:13 PM IST
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Spectators Stand in Solidarity for Kathua Rape Victim at Football Tournaments in Kerala
Spectators at a sevens football match in Kerala standing in solidarity for Kathua rape victim.
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Kozhikode: Amid the growing cry for justice in the Kathua rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl, spectators at a football tournament in Kerala held a protest to show their solidarity with the bereaved family.

Viewers of Koyappa Sevens football tournament at Koduvally in Kozhikode district held up their mobile phones with its flashlight switched on before the Friday match’s kick off. Some of the spectators were also holding placards and chanting slogans.

“It was a spontaneous move from the audience’s side. A group of youngsters entered the stadium with placards seeking justice for the Kathua victim after which the entire stadium joined in with them,” said KK Subair, president of Koyappa Football Tournament Committee. Subair added that the protest lasted for just over a minute.

Similarly, another sevens tournament in Pandikkad, Malappuram district, also witnessed protests. Prior to the match, players, referees and volunteers entered the ground holding banners, while the entire stadium stood up for a moment of silence.

“Tournament committees are organising such collective protests across the region since it is an issue which affects the civil society at large. At least three sevens tournaments in the region have organised protests till now, more protests are likely to happen this week,” said KM Lenin, president of Kerala State Sevens Football Organisers Association.

Photos and videos of protests during sevens matches are doing rounds on social media with hundreds of people coming forward in praise.

Koyappa is a famous sevens football tournament in the region which was named after Koyappa Muhammed Kunhi, a local footballer. The tournament held at Koduvally Municipal floodlight stadium is the 36th edition of the event.

An eight-year-old girl, who belonged to the nomadic Bakarwal community, was held captive in a temple in Kashmir's Kathua district before being strangled to death after being raped. Her body was recovered from Rassana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses there.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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