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J&K: UAPA Charges Against 7 Kashmiri Students for Celebrating India's Defeat in Cricket Withdrawn

Many, including the political leadership and the regional civil society, however, had termed the action against the students as an ‘over-reaction’.
SC Reserves Decision on Whether Mere Organisation Membership is  Offence Under UAPA

Srinagar: Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have dropped charges against seven Kashmiri students who were booked under stringent terror laws for allegedly celebrating the defeat of Indian cricket team during the ICC World Cup Cricket earlier on November 19.

“The UAPA charge against seven Kashmiri students has been dropped. All 7 students, enrolled at (SKUAST) in Ganderbal, Kashmir, were initially arrested and charged under UAPA after Australia defeated India in the World Cup on November 19. They have now been granted bail, with Adv Shafiq Bhat serving as the counsel representing the students,” National Convenor of the J&K Students Association, Nasir Khuehami, said in a statement.

The students from the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) were arrested after another student, a non-Kashmiri, also enrolled at the institute filed a complaint with the police accusing the seven students of allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans during the match. He also accused that the students harassed and intimidated him.

The students were subsequently booked the police in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district under Section 13 (unlawful activities punishable with imprisonment) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Sections 505 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. Many, including the political leadership and the regional civil society, however, termed the action against the students as an ‘over-reaction’.

The dropping of charges has since brought relief to the families of the students who pleaded before the authorities for removing the charges against their wards. The families, according to the reports, have provided personal undertaking in front of the police and authorities ahead of the release. The move was also welcomed by the politicians and students community.

“Glad to know that UAPA charges against SKUAST students have been dropped. Finally good sense has prevailed and their future saved from jeopardy,” People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti wrote on X.

The student community in Kashmir have been on the edge since the last week especially after hundreds marched inside the college and university campuses including at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) where a non-local engineering student was accused of posting hateful content against Prophet Muhammad on social media triggering a huge row.

The incident prompted the authorities to announce winter break immediately while the students from the engineering college were asked to leave hostel premises immediately. The protests, however, were limited to university and college campuses only and the students were pacified after the police booked the non-local student.

In the past few days, however, the Srinagar police have booked at least six individuals for alleged propagation of fake information, posting of instigative content and inciting disaffection and anti-social propaganda on social media platforms.

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