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PDP, PC, CPI(M) express concern

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Srinagar, Oct 26: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday accused the Centre of resorting to “vindictive” action against Kashmiri youth and said such steps will “alienate them further” after cases were registered against some students here for celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India in a T20 international cricket match.

People’s Conference chief, Sajad Gani Lone also flayed a police FIR against the medical students at SKIMS and GMC Srinagar saying in Kashmir “we have to live with those who are ideologically opposed to us”.

Two cases have been registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against medical students living in hostels in Government Medical College and SKIMS Soura.

Reacting to it, the PDP president said the Centre should instead have tried to ascertain why the educated youth choose to identify with Pakistan.

“HMs (Union Home Minister Amit Shah) ‘Mann ki baat’ with Kashmiri youth started with slapping UAPA against  medical students for celebrating Pakistan’s win. Instead of trying to ascertain why educated youth choose to identify with Pakistan, GOI resorting to vindictive actions. Such steps will alienate them further,” the former chief minister said on Twitter.

In his reaction Peoples Conference chief Sajad Gani Lone said punitive action against the students won’t work if past experiences are anything to go by.

“I strongly disagree. If you think that they r not patriotic enough because they cheered for another team- u should have the courage and the belief to wean them back if u think they have gone patriotically astray. Punitive actions won’t help. Have not helped in the past either,” Sajad wrote on Twitter while reacting to a woman suggesting that the students be suspended by the medical colleges.

“We live in Kashmir and have to live with those who r ideologically opposed to us. But we’re confident that it is a game of narratives of discourses. And that we will win. We will convince all about the goodness of our ideology. We will prevail. But that that is if u allow us to,” he said.

“We don’t c anti indianism or pro pakistanism as an irreversible condition. It is at best a curable disease. Let us cure it. Allow us to cure it. Trust me. Punitive actions can worsen the disease”.

CPI (M) secretary Ghulam Nabi Malik on Tuesday termed the police FIR against MBBS students as unwarranted, and unnecessary, demanding immediate roll back of the charges against them.

“The past experiences reveal that such punitive actions have not helped in achieving any results nor it will have any desired outcome this time. Winning and losing is part of any game and in a democratic setup everybody has a choice to cheer for his favorite team or a player,” he said.

He said there are examples where Indian fans gave standing ovation to Pakistan cricket team after its victory and same things happened with Pakistani crowds cheering up for India team.  “In 1999, Chennai crowd gave a standing ovation to victorious Pakistan side. The crowd applauded the fact that Pakistan on that day was the better of the two sides,” Malik recalled, adding that “the Pakistani team reciprocated in kind to the crowd’s gesture, taking a victory lap around the ground. Nobody becomes anti-national if he supports one team or the other.”

He urged the J&K administration led by LG Manoj Sinha to immediately revoke the charges framed against the medical college students and help them to continue their degrees.

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