The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Duck leads to protest

Ranchi, March 18: The quick dismissal of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his first World Cup match led to angry demonstrators destroying a portion of the boundary wall on the cricketer’s land, which was gifted by the state government, in Harmu Housing Colony.

Dhoni was constructing a house on the plot.

The mob also burnt effigies of the cricketer and raised slogans such as “pay attention to cricket instead of endorsing products”. Some of the demonstrators, JMM activists, demanded that Dhoni return the land.

“Dhoni has no right to continue holding the plot. He should stop playing cricket and act in advertisements or open a grocery shop,” said JMM district vice-president Arun Kumar.

Demonstrations were also held in Albert Ekka Chowk.

To avoid unpleasant situations, adequate security arrangements were made at the cricketer’s residence in Mecon’s Shyamali Colony. Mecon management also deployed private security in the area.

Narendra, the cricketer’s elder brother, said: “Such demonstrations take place when expectations are not fulfilled. We have taken it sportingly.”

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses said the demonstrators who demolished the wall were not cricket enthusiasts.

Suraj Mohan, a resident of Mecon, said: “Those who staged the demonstration were not cricket lovers but publicity-hungry people dancing to the tunes of the media.”

K.K. Singh, a former navy personnel who lives near Dhoni’s plot, questioned the intentions of the demonstrators. “They were all laughing and talking to each other while demonstrating,” he added.

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