A group of Kashmiri students at a private university in Meerut were today booked for sedition after they allegedly cheered for the Pakistan team during a cricket match that India lost as district authorities stepped into the matter, ordering a magisterial inquiry.
Criticising the slapping of sedition charges against the students, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was an "unacceptably harsh punishment" that will ruin the future of the students and will further alienate them.
Omar said he would take up the matter with his UP counterpart Akhilesh Yadav and try to get the charges dropped.
Around 60 Kashmiri students at Swami Vivekananda Subharti University in Meerut were expelled for three days from the hostel after they had allegedly supported Pakistan cricket team against India in the Asia Cup match between the two sides on Sunday last.
SSP, Meerut, Omkar Singh said that on the basis of the complaint submitted by University Chancellor PK Garg, unnamed Kashmiri students have been booked under section 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 427 (mischief) of IPC.
District Magistrate Pankaj Yadav has ordered a magisterial inquiry and Additional City Magistrate Rambharta Tewari has been given the charge of the case, Additional District Magistrate, Meerut, Satish Kumar Dubey said.
University authorities had set up a disciplinary committee to probe the incident. After preliminary investigations, the authorities had expelled 60 Kashmiri students for three days and asked them to vacate the hostel.
Around 200 Kashmiri students are enrolled in B.Tech and law courses in the university.