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India slaps stringent act on 7 Kashmiri students for celebrating India’s World Cup final loss

The J&K Students Association appealed to the Indian home minister and the UT’s governor to drop the harsh charges against the students saying their future could be ruined.

India’s head coach Rahul Dravid (extreme left in orange), captain Rohit Sharma (to his left) and other members of the India World Cup squad after the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 finals, at the Narendra Modi Stadium, in Ahmedabad, Sunday, November 19, 2023. Australia won the match by six wickets to lift the trophy. (PTI Photo/Gurinder Osan)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE police in the northern Indian Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir have filed a case under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) against seven Kashmiri students for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans during the final of the ICC Men’s cricket World Cup recently.

The police in Ganderbal district in central Kashmir filed a case under UAPA’s Section 13 (unlawful activity punishable with imprisonment) and the Indian Penal Code’s Section 505 (inciting to commit any offence against any other class or community) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

Read: India hotel bans Bangladeshi tourists after celebrations over India’s defeat in WC final

The students study at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Kashmir in Shuhama in Ganderbal.

The police swung into action after a student from the neighbouring state of Punjab studying at the university filed a written complaint. He also alleged that he was given life threats for supporting India.

Read: World Cup 2023 and South Asia’s toxic nationalism

The complaint read, “After the match ended, they [Kashmiri students] started abusing me and targeting me for being a supporter of our country and also threatened me to shut up otherwise I would be shooted [sic],” The Hindu reported.

According to the student, his Kashmiri colleagues shouted slogans such as “Jeeve Jeeve Pakistan” (Long Live Pakistan).

The J&K Students Association, meanwhile, requested the Indian home minister Amit Shah and the lieutenant-governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, to drop the charges against the accused students.

“It is an unacceptably harsh punishment that could ruin their future. The UAPA charges will have serious consequences on the academic and future career of the students and should be immediately withdrawn. It may have serious repercussions both in the long term and short term,” Nasir Khuehami, national convenor of the body, said, according to the report.

He said the association also condemned the Kashmiri students’ act and behaviour “in the harshest of words”. He added that the issue should be settled amicably and not in the court or police station.

The home team lost the final against Australia by six wickets after winning all their matches in the tournament.

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