More Than 1,200 Kashmiri Students in AMU Threaten to Leave University Over Sedition Charges

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Students of the Kashmir University staged a silent march on Monday to show solidarity with Aligarh Muslim University students facing sedition charges

Caravan News

ALIGARH — Three Kashmiri students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have been suspended and booked on sedition charges for allegedly raising “anti-India” slogans and trying to hold a prayer meeting for Hizbul Mujahideen commander Manan Bashir Wani on October 12 (Friday), reports PTI.

Following that, Kashmiri students studying in the AMU have threatened to leave for their homes on October 17, if the sedition charges against three of them are not dropped.

AMU students union’s former vice-president Sajjad Rathar, in a letter written to AMU vice-chancellor, termed the slapping of sedition charges as “vendetta.”

“If this vilification does not stop, more than 1,200 Kashmiri students will leave for their homes in the Kashmir Valley on October 17 as a last option,” Sajjad Rathar said in the letter.

He also said the the plan to hold Namaaz-e-Janaza (prayer meeting) in absentia was dropped after the AMU authorities denied the permission.

“If no prayer meeting was held as confirmed by all official agencies, the slapping a case of sedition against three Kashmiri students is simply a vendetta, harassment and denial of justice,” he said.

The letter was handed over to AMU Proctor Mohsin Khan in presence of large number of Kashmiri students at his office on Saturday night.

AMU spokesman Shafay Kidwai, however, denied the Kashmiri students’ charges of harassment and stressed that “no innocent would be framed”.

Prof Kidwai also made it clear that “there is zero tolerance for any anti-national activity on AMU campus”.

Aligarh’s senior superintendent of police Ajai Sahni said police took the action (on October 12) after a video surfaced, showing the three Kashmiri students raising “anti-India” slogans, according to report.

Prof Kidwai said show cause notices have been issued to nine students for trying to hold an unauthorised gathering Thursday. “A three-member inquiry committee has been set up to probe the incident. It will submit a report in the next 72 hours,” he said.

Twenty-seven-year-old Wani, pursing a PhD course in Allied Geology at the AMU, had quit the university and joined militant ranks in January this year. He was killed in an encounter at Shatgund village in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Thursday.

Kashmir MLA detained

Meanwhile, a Kashmiri MLA from Langate, Kupwara Sheikh Abdul Rasheed was reportedly detained on Sunday for taking out a protest march here in “solidarity” with Kashmiri students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), who were booked on sedition charges.

Offering funeral prayers for anyone, including Wani, was not a crime “but a fundamental religious obligation,” Rasheed said while talking to reporters before the marcc.

“The AMU administration has filed charges of sedition against Kashmiri students only under pressure from local BJP leaders just to polarise the issue and gain electoral dividends. Whatsoever is being attributed to the students is absolutely false and baseless,” he alleged.

The MLA said Kashmiri students “are being targeted only for the reason that they are Kashmiris and being a Kashmiri has become a crime in India,” report published in Hindustan Times said.

Silent march in Kashmir University

Meanwhile,  Students of the Kashmir University staged a silent march on Monday to show solidarity with Aligarh Muslim University students facing sedition charges for trying to offer funeral prayers in absentia for a slain Ph.D scholar-turned-militant commander, reports IANS.

(With inputs from PTI)

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