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MP: Minor J&K student Booked for 'Sedition' for Sharing Objectionable WhatsApp Status on Pulwama

Kashif Kakvi |
The minor accused came to Neemuch district in August last year on scholarship to study B.Com.

Representational use only.

Bhopal: A case of sedition has been registered against a minor college student from Jammu and Kashmir, studying in Madhya Pradesh's Neemuch city under a central government scholarship scheme, for allegedly posting an objectionable video regarding the 2019 Pulwama terror attack on WhatsApp status.

According to police, the minor student identified as Tufeel Makbool Dar, a resident of Baramulla district, has posted a 29-second video on his WhatsApp and Instagram status in which an unidentified man, sporting a beard, can be heard saying, 'We will take revenge on Babri Mosque. We will also avenge Gujarat, Kashmir and Muzaffarnagar." In the following seconds, the video has visuals of the Pulwama attack in which soldiers are paying tribute to the martyred.

Speaking over the phone, Suraj Kumar Verma, Superintendent of police, Neemuch said, "During the police interrogation, the minor claimed to have downloaded the video from one of his Kashmiri friend's WhatsApp statuses with the help of WhatsApp status downloader and posted it on his wall."

On principal's complaint, an FIR has been registered at Neemuch city police station under sections 124 (A), 505 and 153 (A) of the IPC.

"We have presented him before the juvenile court today, and he is likely to be sent to a juvenile home," SP Verma said, adding that his laptop, mobile phone have been confiscated, which are under the scanner.

Police further said that Dar's brother Mehboob had been informed about the incident.

Talking about the legality of the case, Abhinav P Dhanodkar, former deputy Advocate General, High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Bench at Indore, said, "Sedition can be invoked against anyone if the accused indulges in anti-national activities. The juvenile can also be booked, but all the matters would be heard in juvenile court."

He pointed out, "My objection is that sedition needs to be invoked with caution as per judgement of various courts. In this case, it was invoked just over WhatsApp and Instagram status."

Dar came to Neemuch in August last year under the Prime Minister's Special Scholarship Scheme to J&K Students to pursue undergraduate studies outside the state. He joined Swami Vivekananda PG College to study B.Com and was living in a hostel where four other Kashmiri students were living.

When contacted, VK Jain, Principal, Swami Vivekananda PG College, claimed that soon after his staff informed about Dar's video, he immediately informed the police as the members of various right-wing groups had gathered inside the campus and were raising slogans.

"To protect Dar from right-wing groups who had gathered in large numbers inside the college, I informed the police who took Dar to the police station," said Jain.

Pulwama attack, one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, took place on February 14, 2019, in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred.

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