Indian cricket team being targeted by terrorists? Security tightened for 1st T20I vs Bangladesh
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India has received an anonymous letter which claims that the Indian cricket team, due to play Bangladesh in a 3-match T20I series, is going to be targeted by terrorists. As a result of this letter, the Delhi Police has been directed to strengthen security for the team prior to the first T20 which takes place on November 3 at Arun Jaitley Stadium in the capital.
The letter doesn't just talk about the Indian cricket team being on the radar of terrorists. It also lists prominent personalities such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, President Ram Nath Kovind, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, acting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda, former Deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani among others as being on the terrorists' hit-list.
As per the anonymous letter, the organization planning to target these people along with Indian cricketers is called 'All India Lashkar' and is based in Kozhikode, Kerala. News Agency IANS also reported that the possibility of this letter being a hoax cannot be discounted. But the agencies are not taking any chances and are keeping security tight.
The Bangladesh team would be in India for three T20Is and two Test matches. The first match of the T20 series would be played in Delhi while the second match will take place on November 7 at Rajkot. The final game of the rubber would be hosted by Nagpur on November 10.
This series would be followed by two Test matches. The first one will begin on November 14 in Indore while the second one would be played at the iconic Eden Gardens from 22 of the month.
The mention of Kozhikode in the letter is interesting since, over the last few years, extremism has raised its ugly head in Kerala and some youngsters from the province are known to have joined Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Indian team's captain Virat Kohli has been given a rest for the T20I series but would be back for the Test matches. In the absence of the regular captain, the charge of the team will be with Rohit Sharma.
The Test matches against Bangladesh would be part of the World Test Championship. India has, so far, played five Tests in the championship – two against West Indies and three against South Africa. They have won all five of these games and are leading in the standings with 240 points.