Cheering Pakistan’s win: Sedition charge against Kashmiris dropped

Police officials say other charges against the 67 students remain.


Three suspended Kashmiri students address the media in Srinagar. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD:


The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has dropped sedition charges against 67 Kashmiri students who were booked for allegedly cheering for Pakistan’s victory over India in a cricket match, The Hindu reported on Thursday.


Citing police sources, the report said the sedition charge was removed from the list after the State sought ‘legal advice’. The other charges – mischief and promoting enmity between two groups – would stay.

The students, all enrolled at Swami Vivekanand Subharti University (SVSU) in Meerut, UP, were suspended and escorted from campus over what the vice-chancellor called ‘unacceptable’ behaviour after the Asia Cup clash on Sunday.

“The administration submitted a written complaint against unknown persons for indulging in anti-national activities and creating a ruckus on campus,” Meerut police chief Omkar Singh told AFP. “We have registered a case and the probe is on.”

“The law will take its own course,” he said, adding that any charges would be ones of sedition. Chief Minister of Indian-administered Kashmir Omar Abdullah said any sedition charges would be too harsh. “Sedition charge against Kashmiri students is an unacceptably harsh punishment that will ruin their futures and further alienate them,” he said on Twitter.

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“I believe what the students did was wrong and misguided but they certainly didn’t deserve to have charges of sedition slapped against them.”

Meanwhile, The Hindu reported that SVSU has constituted a committee headed by a professor from Kashmir to probe the matter. It added that the university was ‘ready to welcome the students back’.

Pakistan will welcome the students: FO

Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam termed any sedition charges ‘unfortunate’. “We know Kashmiris celebrated Pakistan’s victory as they always do,” she told reporters at her weekly news briefing. “If these students wish to pursue their studies in Pakistan, our hearts and academic institutions are open to them.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2014.

COMMENTS (1)

Isa | 7 years ago | Reply India government withdraw the action against the Kashmiri students because of the strong action by the Pakistan Government. Thank you guys, we know that we can always count on you
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