Srinagar: Yesterday a photograph of girls pelting stones on securities forces in Kashmir went viral on social networking websites and messaging app. Among them was a girl who dreams to play football for India and wants to represent India on the world platform. Afshan Ashique is Kashmir’s first female football coach.
“Yes, I pelted stones yesterday. But that’s not what I want to do. I want to play at the national level for India,” Kashmir’s first female football coach Afshan Ashique, 21, said
“On Monday When we were going for our routine football practice, and we saw a group of boys pelting stones on securities forces due to which we were unable to reach to playground, so we stood there and waited for police.”
“I told the girls not to panic and asked them to wait. Police misunderstood and assumed that we were there to pelt stones. A cop walked up to us and slapped a girl and called her names. That enraged us. I wanted to stand by the girl, so we all started pelting stones at police.” Afshan told U4UVoice.
However, police has a different story. According to the police the girls knew that police will not retaliate therefore they started throwing stones at us.
Police and CRPF have been maintaining maximum restraint, which is evident from the fact that no student was hurt,” the officer said.
Afshan said, “I am clear in my mind that our future is with India. I debate with stone-pelters and try to persuade them to come to the field and play football instead. The solution to the conflict might emerge from sports.” Afshan has been playing football for the last five years and training over 30 girls under a state government initiative. The 16-year-old finds herself struggling with the choices Afshan asks her to pick from. Between the sport that she is passionate about and the street warfare against India, the girl chooses. “I want to be in the field here, with the ball.”