Hubballi/Bengaluru: The parents of three Kashmiri students arrested making a pro-azaadi video in their hostel room in Hubballi on Wednesday pleaded that they be shown mercy.
The three students, Ameer, Basit and Talib, are presently in judicial custody at the Hindalaga jail in Belagavi, watched over anxiously by jailers who fear they may be attacked by fellow inmates.
The students made a self-shot video in which they flashed azaadi signals and sang along to a pro-Pakistani song. They were handed over to the police by their colleged, the KLE Institute of Technology, Hubballi. Police have slapped sedition charges on them, and right-wing groups tried to attack them when they were produced in court.
Hindalaga jailer Lokesh T K said that special attention was being paid to the three men as it is a sensitive case. He said outsiders, including parents, will not be allowed to meet them for one week as per procedure.
Their parents who visited Hubballi to meet them said they were shocked that the boys raised pro-Pakistan slogans. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Nazir Khan, father of Basit, said the decision by KLE Institute of Technology to suspend his son has caused a lot of pain to him.
Urging the government to show mercy to the children, he said he does not know who instigated them to raise pro-Pakistan slogans.
Mr Nazir Khan said that he sent his son to Hubballi for studies as he had got a seat in the government quota and won a scholarship too.
The parents of these students are middle class. One is a cloth merchant, another runs a mutton stall and the third is a mason. “We are not educated. Our children are talented and they have skills. We were very happy when our boys got seats in the government quota. We sent them this far as we thought they would come up in life,” they said in Hubballi, before leaving for the Hindalaga prison.
“We were shocked to see sedition charges slapped against our sons. We were pained to see what happened to them outside the court hall. We will take them back to Kashmir and put them to work. We will not let them repeat the mistake. Send them with us,” the parents pleaded.
Police have also registered a suo motu case against 15 people for trying to attack the students while they were being taken to court. They have lodged a case under Section 323 of IPC against these people on the charge of voluntarily causing hurt to the arrested youth.
Meanwhile, the management of KLE institute has sent four other Kashmiri students to their native places as a precautionary measure. In all, seven Kashmiri students were studying in the college. The management has taken this move keeping safety of these four students who are studying computer science as there is a chance of an attack on them in their hostel.
In a related development, the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association has requested the college authorities and police to drop sedition charges against the students. They said they condemn what the students did but however, the slapping of sedition charges on them was unfair, the association maintained.
‘Kashmiri students across the country should focus on studies and protect the interests of the university rather than indulge in other activities,’ they said.
Bengaluru Advocates Association president A.P. Ranganath said the association members are not in the team of advocates who are fighting for the Kashmiri students.