NEW DELHI: The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted bail to three Kashmiri students who were arrested in October last year on sedition charges for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans following Pakistan's victory in a T20 Cricket World Cup match against India.
The bench of Justice Ajay Bhanot granted bail to Arsheed Yusuf, Inayat Altaf Sheikh, and Showkat Ahmed Ganai, who are students of RBS engineering college in Agra. The students, all in their early 20's, were arrested on October 27 by Agra police after they reportedly posted congratulatory messages in favour of Pakistan on WhatsApp.
Their arrest came after leaders of saffron outfits protested in front of the college demanding the suspension of students who posted a message in favour of Pakistan. Subsequently, the threesome was suspended by the college authorities.
They were booked under IPC sections including 124 A (sedition) besides 66-F of the Information Technology Act. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had warned sedition law would be slapped against people who celebrated the Pakistan cricket team’s victory against India.
The three Kashmiri students were beneficiaries of the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme, meant for students from economically weaker sections in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to reports, the students had faced a hostile crowd outside the court in Agra where they were heckled, and lawyers in the city refused to represent them. Finally, a lawyer from the neighbouring district of Mathura took their cases.
Nasir Khuehami, the national spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Students' Association, had urged the Uttar Pradesh chief minister to drop sedition charges against the students, seeking "mercy on humanitarian grounds".