Srinagar: Three Kashmiri students arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra have been remanded to Police custody and investigation would reveal whether to charge them with sedition charges or not.
The Kashmiri students were arrested in Agra on Wednesday for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s win over India in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
“Those celebrating Pakistan’s win will be charged with sedition,” Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s office tweeted.
All three are engineering students at the Raja Balwant Singh College in Agra.
Arshid Yousuf and Inayat Altaf Sheikh are in their third year of college, and Showkat Ahmed Ganai is in his fourth year.
“We produced them before the magistrate and got them on remand,” Superintendent of Police, Agra City, Vikas Kumar told Greater Kashmir. “So far, they have not been charged with sedition.”
Vikas said that investigation would reveal whether they would be booked under sedition or not.
“The investigations have been started and things will be clear in a day or two,” he said. “I have no idea if anybody approached for bail.”
So far, the three were booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (1)(B) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public), and 66-F of the Information Technology Act for allegedly sending WhatsApp messages “against the country” after Sunday’s match.
The case was lodged at Jagdishpura Police Station on Tuesday after protests were held by Hindu outfits outside the college demanding their arrest.
On Thursday, a video went viral on social media where the three Kashmiri students faced the wrath of some people when they were being produced before the magistrate.
A tweet by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday suggested that they might also be charged with sedition.
The administration of Raja Balwant Singh Engineering Technical College, which rusticated the three students on Monday, announced that the college would be shut down until action was taken against those who forcibly entered the college on Tuesday demanding the arrest of the Kashmiri students.
According to the notice issued by the Dean of the Hostels, Dushyant Singh, the students were found to be involved in “indiscipline” by “posting status in favour of Pakistan” after the match on October 24.
“Therefore, the hostel discipline committee has decided to suspend all three with immediate effect,” a statement from the college said.
Chief Proctor of the Institute Ashish Shukla said that the three Kashmiri students had apologised for their act.
On Wednesday, the J&K Students’ Association wrote to the Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, urging that the case against the three students be dropped since it “will ruin their future and further alienate them”.
The students had secured admission in the institute under the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS), which is available for students from J&K, and Ladakh.
Under the PMSSS scheme, 5000 scholarships are offered every year to students of J&K to pursue undergraduate studies in engineering, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, hotel management, agriculture, architecture and commerce in a list of select institutes.
Apart from the tuition fees, the scholarship also gives students Rs 1 lakh for living expenses.
(With inputs of news gathering agencies)