Pakistan's Shahid Afridi celebrates the team's victory over India in Bangladesh during their recent Asia Cup match. AFP
Meerut: Meerut Police have registered a case of sedition on Wednesday against 67 Kashmiri students of Meerut's Swami Vivekanand Subharti University (SVSU) who allegedly celebrated the victory of Pakistan over India in a cricket match on Saturday.
The case of sedition was registered under section 124 (a) of the Indian Penal Code against the students. The students were first suspended and are now to face arrest.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called it an "unacceptably harsh punishment" that would ruin the students' future and alienate them more.
"I believe what the students did was wrong & misguided but they certainly didn't deserve to have charges of sedition slapped against them," he tweeted.
Omar said he would take up the matter with his UP counterpart Akhilesh Yadav and try to get the charges dropped.
The college has alleged that the students celebrated loudly in the dormitory and raised pro-Pakistan slogans, which led to a fight with other students and triggered tension in the university.
Immediate action was taken against the students as they were first suspended, then sent home.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Thursday that slapping of sedition charges against Kashmiri students in Meerut by Uttar Pradesh Government for cheering Pakistan team was "unacceptably harsh punishment" and should be reversed.
"I believe what the students did was wrong and misguided but they certainly didn't deserve to have charges of sedition slapped against them. I believe the University did what it had to, to control the situation, but this action by the UP Government is uncalled for and should be reversed," Omar wrote on microblogging site twitter.com.
"I will talk to UP CM ASAP (as soon as possible) and intervene on behalf of these misguided students to have this charge of sedition removed," he added.
Omar, however, said the students did not commit any illegal act, irrespective of the team they were cheering for. "Finally while what the boys may have done in Meerut is misguided, it certainly isn't illegal, regardless of who them (sic) were cheering," he said.
The Chief Minister said the students should introspect their actions as they had been selected under the Prime Minister's Special Scholarship Scheme. "The sad fact is that some of these students are recipients of the PM scholarship for Kashmiris. Perhaps they need to introspect," he added.