Three students of a private college affiliated to Agra University in Uttar Pradesh were jailed on October 24, four days after Pakistan defeated India in the T20 Cricket World Cup. Their families are disappointed with their bail petitions being heard.
Shahgund (Bandipora): Families of three Kashmiri students, who were sent to jail by the Uttar Pradesh Police for celebrating Pakistan’s victory against India in the T20 World Cup last October, continue to live under the shadow of grief and fear. Due to non-hearing of bail plea of these students, they are drowning in despair.
22-year-old Shaukat Ahmed Ganai, a final year BTech student at Raja Balwant Singh Engineering and Technical College (RBSETC), a private college affiliated to Agra University in Uttar Pradesh, was felicitated by Pakistan in the T20 Cricket World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on October 24. Four days after his defeat (28 October) he was imprisoned.
After the match was over, some Hindutva right-wing activists barged into the RBSETC campus and also complained to the Uttar Pradesh Police that some Kashmiri students in the college had raised anti-India slogans after India’s defeat. However, the college administration has vehemently denied the allegations.
Ganai’s mother Hafiza said, ‘Pakistan won the match, but my son is being tortured for it.’
Hafeezah lives in Shahgund village of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
“His exams will start from January 3, but after spending two months in jail, how will he be able to write his paper now,” he said.
It is known that the Uttar Pradesh Police has lodged an FIR against three Kashmiri students, including Shaukat, under sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups) and 505 (making or publishing material promoting enmity) of the IPC and sent them to jail. Is.
The other two students arrested in the case are Arshid Paul, a resident of Hardi Chokpora village and Inayat Altaf Shaikh, a resident of Doonvoor village in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
A day after the arrest, the three students were produced before a magistrate and later shifted to Agra jail.
In the context of this case, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said that those celebrating the victory of Pakistan would face sedition, after which the UP Police also added Section 124A (sedition) against these students.
The families of these three students are financially very weak and are trying to get their children released. These students are the first in their family to move outside the state to pursue a professional degree. He could afford private education because of a central government-funded scholarship scheme for the underprivileged students of Kashmir.
Shaukat, a resident of Lone Mohalla in Shahgund, is the youngest of four children of Mohammed Shaban Ganai. His father is a landless poor labourer. They are not even able to earn enough to support their family of six people.
Hafeeza says, ‘My husband and I endured hardships so that our children would not suffer, but what did destiny do to us?’
Arshid Paul, the other student arrested in the case, is an orphan and the eldest of three siblings. His uncle Yasin Paul the wire Arshid was the only person in the family of his two uncles, his four sons and two daughters and more than a dozen cousins, who was about to complete a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Shabbir Ahmed, uncle of Inayat, the third student arrested in the case, said, “Initially we did not get a lawyer to fight the case. Now the court is not hearing our application. Elections are going to be held in Uttar Pradesh next year, we are feeling very much scared.
The draconian charges of sedition, which could lead to life imprisonment in case of conviction, as well as the communally polarized atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh have given the families of the three students sleepless nights. Families fear that their sons might become a weapon for political parties to shine ahead of the UP assembly elections.
Like the other two families, Shaukat’s parents also came to know about his arrest through social media.
Shaukat’s father Mohammad Shaban Ganai said, ‘I do not have a regular income. My eldest son dropped out of school to support the family. I had to borrow money from relatives and neighbors to go to UP and meet them.
Unlike Shaban’s two older children, who had dropped out of school, Shaukat was a brilliant student from an early age. His father said that he was a topper in his school. Shaban’s younger daughter is pursuing a diploma in ophthalmology.
Shahgund, where the family lives, is a large undeveloped village in Bandipora district with about 1,000 houses.
According to the 2011 census, Jammu and Kashmir has a literacy rate of around 40 per cent compared to an average literacy rate of 67 per cent. Since poverty determines the way of life of the villagers, Shaukat is seen as a role model for the younger generation in his neighbourhood.
Senior advocate Madhuvan Dutt, who is representing the three students, told The Wire that they have filed an application in the Allahabad High Court seeking transfer of the case out of Agra and grant of bail. But neither of these two have been heard.
Dutt said the application for transfer is to be heard on December 22 and the bail plea on December 23.
He said, ‘No allegations are made against the students. The court could not hear the matter on the last date as the applications were too many. I hope justice will be done to them.
Shaban said, ‘He talks to us on the phone from jail. He just wants to know when he’s going to go out. Is this punishment not enough? If they have committed any mistake unintentionally, we have apologized for it, but why is no one listening?’
(Click here to read this report in English.)
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