Pulwama attack: Three Kashmiri students arrested in Bengaluru, charged with sedition for allegedly posting derogatory Facebook comments


Srinagar: Three engineering students of Kashmir have been arrested in Bengaluru for allegedly posting derogatory comments on Facebook about the Pulwama attack.

The arrested nursing college students are Haris Manzoor, Gowhar Mustaq and Zakir Maqbool. Harris and Zakir are residents of Viligam Kupwara while Gowhar is a resident of Baramulla.

Haris and Gowhar are students of Spurthy College while Zakir Maqbol (IV year B.Sc) is a student of Chinai College.

The trio stay together in a hostel in Marasuru in Anekal. They were arrested by the Surya Nagar police based on a complaint filed by the principal of the college on Saturday, media reports said.

In his complaint. Babu D. alleged that the trio had commented on a FB post of a colleague Koushik Debnath mourning the death of the CRPF personnel. Responding to the post, the trio posted a comment allegedly abusing the army.

Based on the complaint, the police arrested the trio charging them under Sections 124A (sedition) and 153A of the Indian Penal Code that deals with the offence of promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language; section 323 (assault), section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and also under Section 13 (advocates, abets, advises or incites) of the Unlawful Activity (prevention) Act, and remanded in judicial custody.

On 14 February, a Scorpio car armed with explosives rammed into a CRPF convoy in Lethpora area along the Srinagar-Jammu highway in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, killing 49 CRPF personnel. Following the news, militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility of the attack.

Soon after the attack, Navjot Singh Sidhu, a minister in Captain Amarinder Singh’s Congress government in Punjab, asked whether an entire country (Pakistan) could be blamed for the acts of a few.

Sidhu, however, strongly condemned the Pulwama attack.

After the Pulwama attack, Kashmiris living in India have been facing xenophobia, hate, terminations and suspensions.

ALSO READ:  ‘We were attacked from all sides’: Darbar move employees in Jammu say neighbours were part of the mob too

A mob threatened to set a Dehradun college on fire if the institute didn’t terminate a Kashmiri dean. Abid Kuchay, college Dean of the Alpine Institute has been terminated.

“The college asked for it. I agreed for the betterment of the college,” he said. Abid’s resignation has been asked for his role of getting Kashmir students admitted in the college.

Moreover, four Kashmiri students were suspended on Saturday by the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Rajasthan for sharing a WhatsApp status in which they were allegedly celebrating the Pulwama attack which left 49 CRPF personnel dead.

The second-year students — Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir — were suspended soon after they shared as a WhatsApp status allegedly celebrating the killings of the CRPF personnel in the attack

Earlier, Shridev Suman Subharti University in Dehradun suspended a Kashmiri student after his alleged WhatsApp chat regarding the Pulwama attack went viral.

ALSO READ: #IndiaWantsRevenge: Kashmiris outside fear for their lives, face xenophobia, abuse, rustication after Pulwama attack

Meanwhile, Aligarh Muslim University also suspended a Kashmiri student over a ‘highly objectionable tweet’.

Omar Saleem Peerzada, AMU PRO said: “We have come to know of the highly objectionable tweet. Taking immediate cognizance the student has been suspended by the university administration,” he said.

Moreover, 15-20 Kashmiri female students had locked themselves in a hostel room in Dehradun after a mob surrounded the campus area, demanding the management to ‘throw them out of their rooms’.

Shazia Hamid, one of the students, told Free Press Kashmir that she and other Kashmiri female students, fearing the mob, have locked themselves in a room.

ALSO READ: ‘We’re alive today because of our Sikh brothers’: Kashmiri drivers back home from Jammu tell tales of agony and hope

Following Free Press Kashmir’s news story the women were provided safety by the Dehradun police who dispersed the crowd peacefully.

Earlier, former chief minister Omar Abdullah had appealed to the Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh to direct all state governments to take ‘special care of areas where Kashmiris as residing or studying.’

Following the reports of attacks on Kashmiris in various parts of India, Government of India on Saturday asked all the states to ensure safety and security of the students and people from Jammu and Kashmir.

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