The remarkable story of Jammu and Kashmir footballer Afshan Ashiq

Afshan Ashiq who had pelted stones during a protest in the Valley stands to the left of Union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Tuesday

That stone pelting Viral Kashmiri Girl is now a footballer.

A Kashmiri girl, whose picture of throwing stones had been highlighted by national media, is now inspiring women in Jammu and Kashmir as she has become the captain of the state's football team.

When asked if she regrets the stone-pelting incident, Afshan said that it was a never-to-be-repeated reaction triggered by her "anger" at the abusive language used by a J&K police as well as the alleged "slapping" of a team member she was accompanying to the football ground at the time.

Afsan Ashiq got the spotlight when her picture hurling stones surfaced. The 23-year-old is now the captain and the goalkeeper of the Jammu and Kashmir women's team and is competing in the Indian Women's League. Later, the meetings with J&K chief minister's Mehbooba Mufti followed, who made a decision to do her efforts to promote both Afshan and women's football in J&K.

"When we told the home minister that Jammu and Kashmir lacks sports infrastructure, he immediately called up Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and requested her to do the needful to help us".

Afshan along with her 22-member football team, coach Satpal Singh Kala and manager Tsering Angmo called Union home minister of India, Mr Rajnath Singh on Tuesday.

"If there are proper infrastructure, youths can take up sports to nourish their talents and no one can brainwash anyone". She also plays for a club in Mumbai.

Afsahan has said that CM Mehbooba Mufti was already supporting them in a big way and had also given instructions to the sports secretary to handle well the requirements of the women's football team. I would not have picked up a stone had it not been for the misbehavior of the police. "I want to be an achiever and do something to make the state and the nation proud", said Afshan, who is now studying BA in Srinagar.

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