Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday sought the withdrawal of sedition charges against three Kashmiri students of the Aligarh Muslim University, reported PTI. The students have been booked for allegedly trying to hold a funeral prayer for an AMU scholar-turned-militant who was killed last week.
The three students were booked for allegedly trying to hold a funeral prayer meeting for deceased Hizbul Mujahideen militant Mannan Bashir Wani. They also allegedly shouted “anti-India” slogans and were later suspended by the university.
“Centre must intervene in withdrawing cases against students and AMU authorities must revoke their suspension,” tweeted the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister. “The respective state governments outside Jammu and Kashmir should be sensitive to the situation and prevent further alienation.”
Mannan Bashir Wani, a scholar at the Aligarh Muslim University who joined militancy in January, was among two Hizbul Mujahideen militants killed in an encounter in Handwara town last week. After news of Wani’s death reached the university, the Kashmiri students called out to other students from the state on social media, asking them to meet near the university’s library, The Indian Express reported.
As they gathered to hold funeral prayers, university staff and student union leaders tried to stop them, leading to a heated exchange, university’s spokesperson Professor Shafey Kidwai told PTI.
The Kashmiri students were moved out of the area, and two of them were suspended, Kidwai said. On Friday, the university also issued notices to nine Kashmiri students and formed a three-member committee to prepare a report on the matter, after which action will be taken, Kidwai said.
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has also asked the university for a report on the incident.
On Sunday, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said his administration had discussed the matter of safety of Kashmiri students at the university with the Uttar Pradesh government.
Earlier, Mufti described Wani’s death as “entirely our loss”. She added: “It is high time that all the political parties in the country realise the gravity of this situation and try to facilitate a solution through dialogue with all the stake holders including Pakistan to end this bloodshed.”
Corrections and clarifications: The story has been edited to reflect that two Kashmiri students were suspended while three, including the two, were booked for sedition.