December 4, 2021

Police arrest Kashmiri Muslims for celebrating Pakistan cricket team victory over India

2 min read

Indian police have arrested three Kashmiri Muslims for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s win over India in the T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Police superintendent Vikash Kumar in Agra — a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh — told reporters on Tuesday evening that a complaint was filed at the Jagdishpura police station after “anti-national” messages were sent by students at Raja Balwant Singh (RBS) engineering college following the match between the two cricketing rivals. On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Police tweeted that five people had been arrested in incidents throughout the state after “anti-national elements used disrespectful words against the Indian cricket team and made anti-India comments which disrupted peace.”

Police told CNN on Thursday that three students from RBS engineering college had been arrested on Wednesday “for committing an offense with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offense against the State or against the public tranquility.” The three were also arrested for committing an offense of cyber terrorism under India’s information technology act, while the charge of sedition was added before they appeared in court on Thursday, Saurabh Singh, a deputy superintendent of police in Agra, said.

The sedition law is a colonial era law which prohibits “words either spoken or written, or by signs or visible representation” that attempts to cause “hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection,” toward the government. Nasir Khuehami, national spokesperson for the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association, told CNN on Thursday evening that the three students who were arrested are Muslim students from Indian-administered Kashmir.

“This is absolutely targeting Kashmiri Muslims, I spoke to other local students today, the non-Kashmiri students at the college, they all said that yes, they cheered (in favor of Pakistan) and posted something on social media which could have hurt sentiments but what the complaint claims is that they shouted anti-India slogans and pro-partisan slogans,” Khuehami told CNN. “That is not true, that is absolutely baseless, I’ve been told this by local students, so deliberately they are being used as scapegoats ahead of Uttar Pradesh elections.”