OKARA: The whole town of 54/2L knew that Umar Daraz was an ardent fan of Indian master blaster Virat Kohli. His favourite batsman’s outclass performance in the recent series in Australia excited him so much that he hoisted Kohli picture and an Indian flag on his four-marla house.
Police arrested Umar Daraz late on Monday and a magistrate remanded him in judicial custody on Tuesday.
Kohli scored 91 in the first ODI, 59 in the second, 117 in the third, 106 in the fourth and eight in the fifth match.
Rana Rashid, a neighbour of Umar, says soon the Indian flag was spotted on his house, people rebuked Umar and advised him to remove it. Umar, who is a tailor, however, paid no attention to the people and kept on working in his small shop. Then someone alerted the police which raided his house in the evening and removed both Kohli’s picture and the flag.
Rashid says that Umar’s father, Liaquat, sells grate at the general bus stand. He says Umar was known as a quiet person who would hole up in his shop the whole day watching matches and sewing clothes.
District Police Officer Faisal Rana said Umer was 22 years old and he had sewed the Indian flag at his shop.
Police arrested him under section 123-A of the Pakistan Penal Code. The section deals with the acts of damaging the sovereignty of the country, and the maximum punishment is 10 years in jail or fine or both. The case also contains section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order and the maximum sentence is three years imprisonment or fine or both.
The police under section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code will take authority from the government for the trial of the person.
Rashid said he felt sorry for Umar who would have no access to TV in the Okara central jail to watch Kohli batting in the T20 matches.
Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2016