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Meerut Police have registered a case of sedition against the
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 unknown students of SVSU on Wednesday.
"We have registered the case against unknown students and the culprits would be brought into record after investigation," said senior superintendent of police Onkar Singh.
A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders met the university's vice chancellor Dr Manzoor Ahmad and management officials demanding stern action against the students who praised Pakistan terming their act "anti-national".
A group of students associated with youth wing of the safforn party also burnt the effigy of the vice chancellor while students in CCS University took out Ahmad's symbolic funeral procession inside the premises blaming him for being lenient to the students.
The trouble began on Saturday when a group of local and Kashmiri students were watching the India-Pakistan match in SVSU's Madan Lal Dhingra Hostel.
A group of Kashmiri students allegedly celebrated Pakistan's victory over India and a few of them shouted slogan "Pakistan Zindabad" on the way back to their rooms. Their act triggered tension in the university.
The university management initiated a three-tier inquiry and questioned other Kashmiri students who refused to divulge the identity of those who were involved in the incident. As a result, the management suspended all 67 Kashmiri students residing in the hostel.
The suspended students were asked to vacate the hostel and go back to their homes in Jammu and Kashmir. They were dropped at Ghaziabad and Delhi railway station under police security.
Experts believe that those who are supporting the errant students by concealing their names can also be charged with conspiracy under section 120 (b).
The registration of case under 124(a) would block the possibility of revoking the suspension of students who have been pursuing courses in technology, law and business administration in the university.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah reacted on Twitter saying that the charge was an "unacceptably harsh punishment" and said that the would talk to Uttar Pradesh's chief minister 'ASAP'.
Sedition charge against Kashmiri students is an unacceptably harsh punishment that will ruin their futures & will further alienate them 1/n— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 6, 2014
I believe the University did what it had to to control the situation but this action by the UP Govt is uncalled for & should be reversed 2/n— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 6, 2014
I will talk to UP CM ASAP & intervene on behalf of these misguided students to have this charge of sedition removed. 3/n.— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 6, 2014
I believe what the students did was wrong & misguided but they certainly didn't deserve to have charges of sedition slapped against them 4/n— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 6, 2014
Have just spoken to CM UP who has assured me he will personally look in to the matter of the Kashmiri students in Meerut.— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 6, 2014