Sedition charges against Kashmiri students uncalled for: Omar Abdullah

Last Updated: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 19:55

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said that slapping of sedition charges against Kashmiri students in Meerut by Uttar Pradesh Government for cheering Pakistan team during a cricket match that India lost was "unacceptably harsh punishment" and should be reversed.

"I believe what the students did was wrong and misguided but they certainly didn`t deserve to have charges of sedition slapped against them.

"I believe the University did what it had to, to control the situation, but this action by the UP Government is uncalled for and should be reversed," Omar wrote on microblogging site twitter.Com.

Around 60 Kashmiri students at Swami Vivekananda Subharti University in Meerut were expelled for three days from the hostel after they had allegedly supported Pakistan cricket team against India in the Asia Cup match between the two sides on Sunday last.

SSP, Meerut, Omkar Singh said that on the basis of the complaint submitted by University Chancellor P K Garg, unnamed Kashmiri students have been booked under section 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 427 (mischief) of IPC.

Omar said slapping sedition charge against Kashmiri students was an "unacceptably harsh punishment" that will ruin the future of the students and will further alienate them.

"I will talk to UP CM ASAP (as soon as possible) and intervene on behalf of these misguided students to have this charge of sedition removed," he added.

Omar, however, said the students did not commit any illegal act, irrespective of the team they were cheering for.

"Finally while what the boys may have done in Meerut is misguided, it certainly isn`t illegal, regardless of who them (sic) were cheering," he said.

The Chief Minister said the students should introspect their actions as they had been selected under the Prime Minister`s Special Scholarship Scheme.

"The sad fact is that some of these students are recipients of the PM scholarship for Kashmiris. Perhaps they need to introspect," he added.
Later in the day, Omar said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav assured him that he will personally look into the issue.

"Have just spoken to CM (of) UP (Yadav), who has assured me he will personally look into the matter of the Kashmiri students in Meerut," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.Com.
Omar spoke to Yadav following media reports about expulsion of the Kashmiri students from Swami Vivekananda Subharti University at Meerut and slapping of sedition charges against them by the UP police.


First Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 19:55

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