Published On 29 Nov 2023
Authorities successful Indian-administered Kashmir person arrested 7 students nether a stringent panic instrumentality for allegedly celebrating India’s decision successful the cricket World Cup finals earlier this month, drafting terrible criticism.
The students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) person been booked nether the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), a instrumentality deemed draconian by respective rights groups.
The law, which makes securing bail astir impossible, has mostly been utilized by India’s Hindu nationalist authorities against governmental dissenters and Muslim activists.
A elder constabulary serviceman successful Indian-administered Kashmir told Al Jazeera determination was a face-off betwixt the accused and immoderate non-local students connected November 19 arsenic they watched a TV broadcast of India playing against Australia astatine the Narendra Modi Stadium successful the occidental authorities of Gujarat.
Australia beat India by six wickets to triumph a record-extending sixth men’s ICC Cricket World Cup, dashing India’s hopes of a 3rd triumph aft 1983 and 2011.
“A non-local pupil submitted a written ailment naming the 7 Kashmiri students for abusing and threatening him and raising pro-Pakistan slogans. On the ground of the complaint, the lawsuit has been registered nether the UAPA,” helium said.
The non-local students astatine SKUAST’s Shuhama field successful cardinal Kashmir’s Ganderbal territory allege the 7 Kashmiri students raised anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans aft India mislaid the game.
“After finishing the lucifer they [students] started abusing maine and targeting maine for being a protagonist of our country,” work the ailment by the 20-year-old student, who has not been identified by the police.
The 7 students person been charged with Section 13 of UAPA which deals with advocating, abetting, oregon inciting the committee of immoderate unlawful activity, and Sections 505 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with intent to incite offence against immoderate different people oregon assemblage and transgression intimidation.
As the determination to invoke panic charges successful a lawsuit related to athletics was criticised, constabulary connected Tuesday issued a statement, defending their action.
“It is not astir dissent oregon state of expression. It is astir terrorising others who whitethorn beryllium nourishing pro-India feelings oregon anti-Pakistan feelings,” said the statement.
A SKUAST official, connected information of anonymity since helium was not authorised to talk to the media, told Al Jazeera the non-local students did not kick to the assemblage medication and went straight to the police.
“If the students would person approached us, we could person sorted the substance retired internally. The ailment did not scope us,” helium said.
The authoritative said the arrested students are successful their aboriginal 20s and are studying fourth-year Bachelor of Veterinary Science.
“Even if our children made a mistake retired of affectional foolishness, the harsh charges connected them should beryllium dropped. This volition ruin their lives. We are requesting the authorities to prevention their future,” a comparative of 1 of the students told Al Jazeera.
Fearing reprisals from the government, the comparative did not privation to beryllium named.
It’s not the archetypal clip Kashmiri students person been charged successful a lawsuit linked to cricket, a crippled highly fashionable successful the subcontinent. India and Pakistan, which some assertion the Himalayan portion of Kashmir successful its entirety but regularisation implicit parts of it, are besides arch-cricketing rivals.
In October 2021, constabulary successful Indian-administered Kashmir filed transgression cases nether the aforesaid UAPA instrumentality against immoderate students of 2 aesculapian colleges for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s victory against India successful the Twenty20 World Cup. The charges were aboriginal dropped.
In different incidental during the 2014 Asia Cup tournament, astir 60 Kashmiri students were suspended by a assemblage successful the bluish authorities of Uttar Pradesh aft they allegedly celebrated Pakistan’s triumph implicit India.
Anti-India sentiments successful the Indian-administered Kashmir person turned much aggravated since 2019 erstwhile New Delhi unilaterally scrapped its partial autonomy and brought the portion nether its nonstop control.
In a statement, the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association, a section pupil body, said the students booked nether the UAPA beryllium to mediocre families. It demanded the dropping of the charges against them.
“The UAPA charges should beryllium withdrawn arsenic this punishment could ruin their future,” the relation said.
Mehbooba Mufti, the past elected main curate of the region, said the lawsuit against the students was “disconcerting and shocking”.
“Normalising slapping of laws similar UAPA connected journalists, activists and present students reveals the ruthless mindset of the constitution towards youngsters successful [Kashmir),” she wrote connected X, formerly known arsenic Twitter.