Srinagar: Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today demanded that sedition charge slapped against Kashmiri students in Meerut for allegedly cheering Pakistan team during a cricket match that India lost should be dropped and UP government and the university apologise to them.

“As reported in certain sections of media, the university authorities have admitted that only some among the 200 (Kashmiri) students were troublemakers. Yet they have dished out collective punishment to all by packing them off. This reflects a fascist mindset,” PDP chief spokesman Nayeem Akhtar told reporters here.

“Samajwadi Party and BJP have come together against Kashmiri students for gaining political mileage out of a non-issue,” he alleged.

“VIPs like Prime Ministers or Presidents have in the past attended India-Pakistan matches and applauded the rival team’s performance. That time we project it as tolerance and friendship and for Kashmiri students, the same act becomes sedition,” he said.

Akhtar referred to praise lavished by former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Indian captain M S Dhoni.

The PDP spokesman said the sedition charge against the students should be withdrawn and they be taken back in the university.

“The UP government and university authorities should also apologise to the students as they are not aware who had created trouble. The fact that the FIR was lodged based on complaint filed by local BJP unit makes the entire episode fishy,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, ruling National Conference (NC) also expressed anger over the sedition charge, saying the students neither tried to bring down the government nor harm the national integrity.

“Expulsion of the students and then registration of a case of sedition against the students is injustice and smells of double standards,” additional General Secretary of National Conference Sheikh Mustafa Kamal said.

He appealed to the university to take back the students immediately in order to save their academic time.

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

Sedition charges were slapped against unnamed students today.

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Free Press Journal