by Mufti Islah

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SRINAGAR: Students from Sher E Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura, one of the two institutions under fire for purportedly cheering Pakistan victory against India last Sunday were not part of jubilations, nor was its premises used, a fact-finding panel constituted by SKIMS has revealed in its report.

Captain of India’s cricket team, Virat Kohli hugs Pakistan opener Rizwan after Pakistan beats India by 10 tickets in T20 World Cup at Sharjah on October 24, 2021. Pic: Twitter

The report is based on a detailed study and analysis of the video that surfaced on social media platforms soon after Pakistan won the T-20 match against India in the ongoing championship in Dubai. It concluded that neither its premises was used nor students of the institute had participated in the celebrations.

The SKIMS director Dr A G Ahangar had constituted a five-member team, drawn from senior faculty, to investigate if students had actually cheered for Pakistan. The probe panel was mandated to check the veracity of the video and whether the SKIMS was linked to the controversy.

“Yes, we have launched a probe and the committee will give its report within 48 hours to the government, ” Ahangar had told News 18 on Tuesday.

Police on Monday had registered two separate cases under anti-terrorism charges against the staff and students of SKIMS and Government Medical College, Srinagar after two different videos surfaced on social media where students were seen cheering Pakistan win against the Indian cricket team.

Many localities in Srinagar had burst crackers and fireworks to celebrate Pakistan’s victory over India. Police had registered FIR under section 13 ULPA, 105 A, and 505 IPC for the purported video attributed to SKIMS in the Soura police station.

Another video where some girls students were seen “crying and raising slogans in favour of Pakistan” is allegedly being linked to Government Medical College, Srinagar. A separate FIR under section 13 ULPA has been registered in Karan Nagar police station.

In its report, the SKIMS fact-finding team has argued that the central hall or the recreation mess in the unmarried hostel as shown in the viral video do not resemble “even by a distance” the ones at SKIMS premises.

The team while analysing the video points out there is no central pillar in the hall of SKIMS hostel as against the one shown in the video. Similarly, the colour of the wall in the hall at SKIMS is green as compared to the white that is seen in the video.

The report concluded that the appearance of none of the students in the video resembled the ones studying in SKIMS. “The difference of location in the video with the spot analysis of the hostel made us conclude that no such celebrations had taken place in SKIMS,” sources told News18.

Mufti Islah

The fact-finding team completed the probe within the stipulated time and handed it over to the director who in turn has forwarded it to the LG administration. Neither Ahangar nor any panel member was available for comment. One official at SKIMS refused to divulge details saying the report has been submitted to higher-ups.

While the probe is expected to ease pressure on SKIMS, it is not clear whether police will include the probe report into its investigations. As far as the GMC case is concerned, the police are investigating it separately as per the FIR registered in Karan Nagar police station.

(Mufti Islah heads the TV News18 Bureau in Srinagar. This report first appeared here)


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