The Uttar Pradesh (UP) police have filed a charge-sheet under sedition charges against the three Kashmiri students, who were arrested for celebrat-ing Pakistan cricket team’s win against India in the T20 World cup in October last year.
On 28 October 2021, the police booked the Kashmiri students, Arsheed Yusuf (21), Inayat Altaf Sheikh and Showkat Ahmed Ganai, under sedition for allegedly sharing pro-Pakistan posts on WhatsApp after Pakistan’s victory over its arch-rival India in a Twenty-20 world cup match on Oc-tober 24. They were also attacked by Hindutva goons while being presented before a court in Agra.
Talking to the media, lawyer Madhuvan Chaturvedi, who is representing the students, said that as per the law all the three are unlawfully in jail. “Technically speaking all the three students are under illegal detention from today onwards. The chief Justice Magistrate Agra took cognizance of the charge sheet presented by the police without the permission of the state government,” he said.
Chaturvedi added that in the absence of prior permission of the government required under sec-tion 196 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) criminal of-fense, the court cannot take cognizance of the police charge sheet. “Chargesheet is part of the investiga-tion and in this case the investigation is incomplete even after 90 days of custody, hence my clients are eligible for compulsory bail,” he said.
Chaturvedi said that after non-cognizance taken by the Agra court and denial of compulsory bail, he would soon challenge it in the Allahabad High Court.
The Kashmiri students, who were studying at Raja Balwant Singh (RBS) Engineering Technical Agra, were arrested after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers filed a complaint against them in police. However, as per reports in India media quot-ing College authorities the students have not raised any celebratory slogans in support of Pakistan cricket team.
“The students did not shout pro-Pakistan slo-gans,” said B S K B S Kushwaha, director (academ-ics), of the college told Times of India, adding the registering of an FIR against the students based on a complaint from an outsider and without consulting college authorities is incorrect.”—INP