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Medical Students in Kashmir Booked Under Anti-Terror Law for ‘Celebrating’ Pakistan’s Victory
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Medical Students in Kashmir Booked Under Anti-Terror Law for ‘Celebrating’ Pakistan’s Victory

Police have filed criminal charges under stringent anti-terror laws against medical students for celebrating Pakistan’s victory.

SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday filed a criminal case under stringent anti-terror laws against students of medical college for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s victory in the recently held cricket match, evoking sharp reactions.  

The case was filed following a campaign by right-wing Hindutva trolls against Kashmiris on social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook.

“Two cases under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) have been filed against an unknown number of students for insulting the national sentiment,” a local news gathering agency, quoting a senior police official, reported. He said that no student has been named in the First Information Report.

Following Sunday’s match between the arch-rivals, there were celebrations at several places in Kashmir. Several videos emerged on social media showing students of SK Institute of Medical Sciences college and Government Medical College allegedly celebrating the victory of Pakistan against India outside their hostels. The videos went viral on social media.

It has been a routine for many decades that whenever an India-Pakistan cricket match is played anywhere in the world it evokes reactions in the Kashmir valley with people supporting Pakistan, mostly.

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The police cases have now prompted a response in Kashmir.

The medical students of the two colleges have mostly deactivated their accounts after they were put through unthinkable online harassment, a student who was not part of the “celebrations” told Mountain Ink. The students are feeling intimidated, he said.

The FIRs have been registered in Soura and Karan Nagar Police Stations of Srinagar city under sections 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and 505 of the Indian Penal Code. A senior police official quoted by News18 said that the probe is underway. “We will set an example through this case,” he was quoted as having said.

Station House Officer, police station Soura, feigned ignorance about the case.

The Pakistan Team’s performance was appreciated across the globe and even the Indian Cricket Team’s captain Virat Kohli showered praises on the Pakistan Team. “Likewise, there can be a general appreciation and affection for a sporting nation and it happens worldwide across different sports,” Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a professor of law, said.

He said that many Punjabi Sikhs were also seen celebrating the victory because of their roots in West Pakistan, and it being sacred to them. That doesn’t mean, he said, all these people should be booked under anti-terror law.

Dr Hussain said that this seems senseless and boomerangs into an image that depicts a weak and unsure nation to the world. “Curbing the space for free expression harms the system.” The case won’t stand in a free court, he added.  

Legal experts said that the charges against the students won’t stand in a court of law, howsoever provocative the act may seem. “It may offend the sensibilities of certain people and may smack of indiscretion on the part of the accused but it is not a legal wrong or a prosecutable offence,” a senior advocate Habeel Iqbal said. “We have to see if it is a crime within the definition of the law.”

Ideally, he said, the court should throw out the case but because UAPA is a “draconian act” and if these students are charged or arrested it will take months to get them bail which would also jeopardize their academic careers. “As the process becomes the punishment in these kinds of cases, it is a very ill-conceived and stupid move. The police have better things to focus on. It is a blatant abuse of power on the part of the state.”

Soon after the match ended on Sunday, scores of Kashmiri students were assaulted by a mob in at least two colleges of western Punjab for celebrating Pakistan’s victory. The students alleged they were watching the match in their rooms when people carrying sticks attacked them.



During the 2014 Asia Cup tournament, nearly 60 Kashmiri students were suspended by a college in Uttar Pradesh after they celebrated Pakistan’s win over India. However, the charges were dropped later.

The ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) president in Jammu and Kashmir, Ravinder Raina said those who cheered for Pakistan will be in jail soon.

In Jammu, he said that people who celebrated Pakistan’s win in Kashmir or any other place, have been booked. He said the people will be identified and put behind bars soon.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti criticised the attacks on Kashmiris.

She tweeted: “Why such anger against Kashmiris for celebrating Pak’s win? Some are even chanting murderous slogans—desh ke gadaaron ko goli maaro—calling to shoot traitors. One hasnt forgotten how many celebrated by distributing sweets when J&K was dismembered & stripped of special status (SIC).”

She said let us agree to disagree and take it in the right spirit like Virat Kohli who was the first to congratulate the Pakistani cricket team.

In 2016, the National Institute of Technology Srinagar witnessed clashes between local and outstation students after India’s defeat in the World T20 semifinal. CRPF was deployed on the campus and then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had to intervene.

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