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Behaviour of lawyers towards Kashmiri students in Agra unacceptable: Omar

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Invoking sedition charges against Kashmiri students; States can’t afford to indulge in knee jerk reactions: PC

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Friday said the behaviour of lawyers in Agra towards three Kashmiri students, arrested for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s win over India at the T20 World Cup, was unacceptable and the role of police suspect.

The Kashmiri students, who have been booked for sedition, were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by a court in Agra on Thursday.

“The behaviour of the lawyers is unacceptable & the role of the police is deeply suspect. With polls around the corner rather than make friends with Kashmiri students the powers that be are happier using them as political cannon fodder,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister wrote on Twitter.

He was referring to reports about the Kashmiri students being heckled by some people while they were coming out of the court on Thursday.

Abdullah also questioned the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to arrest the three students even after the college authorities gave them a clean chit.

“The college authorities have given these students a clean chit & confirmed they didn’t shout any slogans. Rather than take the college assurance at face value the UP police is victimising these poor kids,” he said.

Meanwhile, Peoples Conference on Friday has flayed the knee jerk reaction of the UP government to invoke severe charges against the Kashmiri students in Agra, terming such measures a blatant violation of constitutional rights and an overreach.

In a statement issued here, the PC spokesman said that slapping of such charges is a blatant violation of constitutional rights and one size fits all punitive measures will be counterproductive in the long run.

“These students at best need counselling rather than being charged under laws meant for serious offenses damaging the integrity of the country and posing an imminent threat to public order. Punitive actions and harsh measures will further alienate young Kashmiris and will neither help reduce the dil ki doori nor create an environment of trust and friendship between Delhi and the youth of Kashmir,” the spokesman said.

He said that slapping of charges against the Kashmiri students studying outside the state are fraught with dangerous consequences as such actions will not only further the mistrust but will also deepen the wedge between Kashmir and other parts of the country.

“States can’t afford to indulge in knee jerk reactions. States are defined by magnanimity and we hope the state of UP shows magnanimity which incidentally is a rarity with that government”, he added.

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