December 2, 2023

In a surprising turn of events during the ICC Men’s World Cup final match between India and Australia at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, a 24-year-old Sydney resident, Wen Johnson, made headlines for his pitch invasion wearing a T-shirt that boldly proclaimed “Free Palestine” and “Stop Bombing Palestine.” However, this act of protest led to legal consequences as an FIR was promptly lodged against Johnson.

As reported by the Indian Express, the complaint, filed by police sub-inspector TR Akbari, detailed the incident stating that around 3.30 pm, Johnson attempted to breach the barricade, pushing aside security personnel and jumping onto the ground while India was batting. The FIR cites IPC sections 332 and 447, accusing Johnson of voluntarily causing harm to public servants in the line of duty and criminal trespass.

Also read: World Cup final: Netizens turns to memes to cope with India’s loss to Australia

Inspector Virajsinh Janaksinh Jadeja has been assigned the probe into the case, unraveling the motivations behind Johnson’s actions. According to Akbari’s account, when questioned about his intrusion, Johnson claimed to be a fervent fan of Indian cricketer Virat Kohli.

Wearing a T-shirt advocating “Free Palestine” and “Stop Bombing Palestine,” Johnson managed to reach the pitch, attempting to embrace Kohli during the 14th over when the Indian captain was batting alongside KL Rahul. Following the incident, Johnson was handed over to the local Chandkheda police station.

The Narendra Modi Stadium, hosting over 1.25 lakh spectators, had implemented stringent security measures with approximately 6,000 police personnel deployed for the event. The pitch invasion, although a momentary disruption, did not dampen the spirit of the crowd, and social media platforms were flooded with both pictures of the incident and expressions of support for the cause Johnson was advocating.

Also read: Virat Kohli creates history: Breaks Sachin Tendulkar’s record, first to hit 50 ODI centuries in IND vs NZ

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