Sydney, January 16
Sydney Cricket Ground officials have launched an investigation after an Indian supporter alleged that he was subjected to racial profiling and abuse by a security officer during the final day of the third Test against Australia.
The incident took place after Indian fast bowler Mohammed Siraj was allegedly racially abused by spectators on the third and fourth day of the drawn Test at the SCG.
Sydney resident Krishna Kumar met Venues NSW legal personnel on Thursday to lodge an official complaint, accusing the security at the venue of racial profiling and unjustified frisking.
He informed the authorities that he felt “stripped and naked” by his treatment on the final day of the third Test (January 11), according to a report in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
Kumar, who attended three days’ play of the third Test, told Venues NSW that he was targeted after trying to carry four banners reading: “Rivalry is good, racism is not”, “No racism mate”, “Brown inclusion matters” and “Cricket Australia more diversity please”.
A security officer stopped Kumar, informing him that one of the banners exceeded the permitted dimensions.
When he requested to speak to a security supervisor, Kumar was asked to leave.
“He told me, ‘If you need to address this matter, go back to where you belong’,” said Kumar.
“It was a very small banner. I made it out of my kids’ paper roll,” he added.
Kumar said the official then told the junior guards to “make sure we give him a complete frisking when he gets back”.
He went out to empty his bag in his car. However, on return he was subjected to a lengthy check and was shouted at aggressively. He was also ordered through a metal detector.
More security was added to the section he was seated in, including a female guard of Indian origin, to monitor if he was “using any other language”.
“To me this is a pure case of profiling. They changed their entire formation so the guy next to the boundary is standing right in front of me and facing me,” said Kumar.
“I want justice. I want accountability. I was feeling stripped, feeling watched and I went there to fight racism.
“Why should I be stopped from addressing racism, especially at a ground where it was debatable whether it was happening or not?” he asked.
Venues NSW’s spokesperson mentioned it was “aware of the matter and has met with the complainant”.
“We are investigating the complainant’s allegations and we’ll make no further comment until our investigation is complete,” said the spokesperson. PTI