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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Issue of 67 expelled Kashmiri students resolved, will return soon: govt

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, March 09, 2014
First Published: 19:37 IST(9/3/2014) | Last Updated: 19:42 IST(9/3/2014)

The 67 Kashmiri students, who were expelled from an Uttar Pradesh university for cheering the Pakistan cricket team, can return to the campus as the Meerut police assures the Jammu and Kashmir government that "the case will not be pursued punitively".

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Junaid Azim Mattu, whom chief minister Omar Abdullah deputed to visit the campus of Meerut's Swami Vivekananda Subharti University, told the Hindustan Times that "the issue stands resolved".

"The university has agreed to take the students back. Separate classes will be held to make up for the loss of the studies," said Mattu.

He said divisional commissioner Meerut Manjit Singh and the top local police officials have assured the government not to "hound these students on any charges once they return".

"The police admitted to the fact that the sedition charges were because of procedural lapse. These students will not be chased by the police under any charge," said Mattu.

Mattu and Kashmir's Delhi resident commissioner KD Agarwal went to Meerut for one-to-one interaction with other Kashmiri students and the local administration after the controversy erupted this week.

Mattu said the students will be sent back in batches. "They will be joining their courses in a while," he said.

The state government has turned down the UP administration's suggestion to shift these boys to a new university.

Sixty seven students were booked by the UP police under several charges on March 13 after they cheered for Pakistan cricket team while it was playing against Indian cricket team on March 2.

However, the police were quick to drop the sedition charges after huge public outcry in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the CM's deputation also resolved the issue of six other students who were asked to leave the hostel following a brawl between two groups of students after the match.

"These six students were not expelled. They were asked only to leave the hostel. The students have started attending to their classes. The students are putting up in a hotel near the college for time being. The college authorities will soon arrange hostel for them," said Mattu.

The government is planning to set up country-wide helpline for students of Kashmir.

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