Chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday led a strong criticism by political parties over the Uttar Pradesh government's move to press sedition charges against
67 Kashmiri students
who allegedly celebrated Pakistan's victory over India in an Asia Cup match last week.
Omar Abdullah also spoke to his UP counterpart Akhilesh Yadav after police registered a case of sedition against 67 Kashmiris studying at Meerut's Swami Vivekanand Subharti University (SVSU).
The students had allegedly celebrated Pakistan's nail-biting, one-wicket victory over India in a match at the ongoing Asia Cup at Dhaka on Saturday.
The case of sedition was registered under Section 124 (a) of the Indian Penal Code against unknown students of SVSU on Wednesday.
The university management initiated a three-tier inquiry and questioned other Kashmiri students who refused to divulge the identity of those who were allegedly 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 the Ghaziabad and Delhi railway stations under police security.
Protesting at the city centre at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, some students said they were forced to leave the university.
"We were cheering for both the teams. We were cheering for good cricket but the moment Pakistan started winning, the expression of the other students changed. They called us Pakistanis and terrorists," said one of the students Muteebu Rehman.
Another student Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, who returned on Wednesday, claimed the authorities told them to collect their belongings in ten minutes. "They told us if we didn't leave the place people will kill us".
While many students have reached the valley, others are afraid to return home.
"My son has not returned. He and a friend of his are hiding in Delhi. For, they feel their families might accuse them of wrongdoing. We have assured them that we will say nothing but they have not returned and their phones are also not reachable," said the father of a student from South Kashmir.
The students were pursuing different courses under the prime minister's scholarship scheme.