The Uttar Pradesh Police said on Friday that they have dropped sedition charges filed against 14 students of the Aligarh Muslim University. The charges had been filed following a complaint by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha District President Mukesh Lodhi, who alleged that he was attacked by some students who chanted pro-Pakistan slogans, PTI reported.
Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhari said on Friday that the charges were dropped three days ago as no evidence was found to support them. The police officer said there is no videographic proof or any other evidence to support the claim that the 14 students chanted anti-India or pro-Pakistan slogans during the clash between two student groups on February 12.
Lodhi had said he was driving past the campus and chanced upon a crowd of “Muslim students attacking journalists and Hindu students”. He stopped to check, only to become a target himself, he had alleged. The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader also claimed that the “Muslim students” chanted “Pakistan Zindabad, Bharat Murdabad” – Life to Pakistan, Death to India.
The clashes were reportedly triggered by reports that All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi was going to visit the campus. However, the visit never took place.
Journalists from Republic TV, who had arrived to cover the visit, had alleged that they were heckled by students who also snatched and broke their equipment.