UP police have dropped sedition charges against 67 students who were forced out of campus for allegedly cheering for Pakistani team on Sunday. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has thanked his counterpart for the intervention.
“Very glad that the UP Police has withdrawn the sedition case against the boys,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter. “Grateful to Akhilesh Yadav for his intervention in the case.”
During the day, Omar had criticized the students for the cheering Pakistani team but termed the punishment harsh. “I believe what the students did was wrong & misguided but they certainly didn’t deserve to have charges of sedition slapped against them,” Omar tweeted during the day. “Finally while what the boys may have done in Meerut is misguided it certainly isn’t illegal, regardless of who them were cheering.”
But Omar had a word of caution for the students. “The sad fact is that some of these students are recipients of the PM scholarship for Kashmiris. Perhaps They need to introspect.”
“Sedition charge against Kashmiri students is an unacceptably harsh punishment that will ruin their futures & will further alienate them,” Omar wrote. He later spoke to his counterpart Akhlesh Yadav and sought his intervention.
The relief from UP came on the eve of separatists calling for students protests on Monday. Meerut’s private university action has created a serious issue in Kashmir that led former Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed to take up the issue with the Prime Minister during the day.
The issue led to Pakistan foreign office reacting to the expulsion of 67 students. All the students have reached home but there are reports about a few still staying back in private capacities.
On basis of the complaint that Swami Vivekanand Subharti University P K Garg had made, the police had registered a case under section 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 427 (mischief) of IPC against unknown students. Now the sedition charges are dropped.
Meanwhile the Home Ministry in Delhi has sought a report from UP government about the incident.