Srinagar: JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and his supporters were Friday detained while trying to take out a march to condemn the expulsion of Kashmiri students from Meerut university for allegedly cheering Pakistan when their team won a match against India.
Malik and over a dozen of his party colleagues were detained at Budshah Chowk in the heart of the city when they tried to proceed to Lal Chowk from the nearby Maisuma headquarters shortly after Friday prayers.
The pro-independence group had planned a sit-in at Lal Chowk to express solidarity with the Kashmiri students of Swami Vivekananda Subharti University at Meerut against the action taken by the University and filing of sedition charges against them by UP police.
Around 60 Kashmiri students of the university were suspended and subsequently charged with sedition by Uttar Pradesh Police for cheering Pakistan team during a Asia Cup match on Sunday. The charge was, however, withdrawn late last night.
“Kashmiris will not accept any toying with the future of our youngsters. Oppressive measures against Kashmiri students in Meerut is a reflection of India’s animosity against people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Malik said.
Meanwhile, some of the suspended students staged a demonstration here and asked the state government to ensure their safe migration to educational institutions in the Valley.
“We are afraid of returning to the university and want Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to help us to get admission here to pursue our education,” one of the students said.
Demonstrations were also held at several places, including Government Medical College here and the Hazratbal campus of Kashmiri University in the Valley.
Chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, the GMC students termed the sedition charges against Kashmiri students as “ridiculous” and “a clear violation of freedom of expression.”
The students demanded that UP government drop all charges against the Kashmiri students.
They also thanked the government of Pakistan for offering the expelled Kashmiri students admission in the institutions of that country.
Protests were also held at Kashmir University , where students carrying placards and shouting anti-India slogans took out a march after Friday prayers to “express solidarity” with the expelled Kashmiri students .
The banned Kashmir University Students Union(KUSU) while condemning the suspension and slapping of sedition charges against the Kashmiri students appealed the Pakistani team to “wear black bands in the final of Asia Cup against Sri Lanka on Saturday.”
“KUSU asks the Pakistan cricket team to show solidarity with the expelled students by wearing black bands in the match against Sri Lanka,” the students’ body said in a statement.
Clashes between youth and police were reported in parts of Srinagar besides north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Ganderbal, Naidkhai, Hajin and south Kashmir’s Shopian towns.
Reacting to the incident, state CPI(M) Secretary M Y Tarigami said, “Though the charges have been dropped, the whole incident is reflective of an unwarranted and uncalled for trend, which is against the spirit of democratic set up.”