UAPA slapped on Kashmiri students over pro-Pakistan chants
SRINAGAR: Seven Kashmiri students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (SKUAST) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal have been arrested over celebrations amid chants of “Long Live Pakistan” after Australia pipped India to the World Cup on November 19. They have been held under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a stringent law usually invoked in terror cases.
The seven were picked up days after the celebrations at a hostel following a complaint by a non-Kashmiri student who has alleged intimidation when he and some others like him objected to the revelry in which crackers and other fireworks were burst.
Police have identified those arrested as Tawqeer Bhat, Mohsin Farooq Wani, Asif Gulzar War, Umer Nazir Dar, Syed Khalid Bukhari, Sameer Rashid Mir and Ubaid Ahmad.
UAPA lays down stringent bail conditions and it is often tough for suspects held under this law to get relief from lower courts.
A police officer confirmed the FIR (No 317/2023) under Section 13 of UAPA and Sections 505, 506 of the Indian Penal (IPC). All seven are in custody now and further probe is on, he added.
Under Section 13 of UAPA, “whoever advocates, abets, advises or incites the commission of, any unlawful activity, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and fine”. The Centre is vested with powers to define “unlawful activities or associations” under Section 3 of the Act.
Section 505 of the IPC pertains to “inciting any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community”; Section 506 relates to criminal intimidation.
Senior J&K police officers declined to explain the precise ground on which the UAPA was slapped in this case, or the specific charges.
In his complaint, the non-Kashmiri student has alleged that the boisterous celebrations, slogans of “Jeeve Jeeve Pakistan (Long Live Pakistan)” and the threats created fear in him and others who hail from outside J&K.
The complainant is enrolled in a veterinary science and animal husbandry course at the agricultural varsity. He is among a small number of students from other states. Most are from J&K.
Interestingly, celebrations had erupted after Australia’s win that night even in several localities of Srinagar downtown, with photos of some of the fireworks promptly posted on social media.
Speaking at a Srinagar gurdwara on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s birthday on Monday, J&K DGP RR Swain vowed to continue the “war” against terror, saying “it is not over till one side accepts defeat”.
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