Srinagar: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the arrests of three Kashmiri students in Agra for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s win over India in a T20 World Cup cricket match, asking him to intervene in the matter.
Mufti said that the cricket match between India and Pakistan was “solely a source of entertainment” for Kashmiri people but led to booking the youngsters under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act “for simply choosing to cheer the winning side.”
“While within Kashmir youth are no strangers to the state excesses, three students in Agra too have been arrested and charged with sedition for the same reasons. This despite the college’s own admission that they didn’t engage in any activity that might construed as anti national,” the former J&K chief minister wrote.
In the letter to PM Modi, Mufti said that patriotism and a sense of loyalty have to be cultivated with compassion and can’t be forced by “wielding the baton or by the barrel of a gun.” She argued that such punitive action, laced with contempt, against Kashmiri students will further the “sense of mistrust and alienation” between the younger generation and the rest of the country.
“Wisdom deems it prudent for this government to engage with them, understand their aspirations and goals. I fervently request you to intervene so that the future of these young bright minds is not destroyed,” she wrote.
Earlier this week, three Kashmiri students were suspended by an engineering college in Agra for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans and sharing “anti-national” chats after India lost the World T-20 match on Sunday night. Police said that the students posted stories on social media praising Pakistan and disowned India as their country.
According to Kashmir Dot Com, a Srinagar-based news agency, The Jammu and Kashmir have registered two separate cases under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against students of medical colleges who celebrated Pakistan cricket team’s victory over India in the T20 World Cup match.