Three Kashmiri students were arrested in Karnataka’s Hubballi city of Dharwad district on Saturday for allegedly saying “Pakistan zindabad” in a video shared widely on social media, PTI reported. Scroll.in could not independently verify the video’s authenticity.
Hubballi Police Commissioner R Dileep said the three students of KLE Institute of Technology were arrested immediately after the college filed a complaint. He denied that a particular community or religion was being targetted. “We are investigating, and whatever comes out as per evidence, law and facts, we will take further action,” Dileep added. “We will look into their background, whether anyone has tried to mislead them.”
College Principal Basavaraj Anami alleged that the students shouted pro-Pakistan slogans to mark the first anniversary of the Pulwama terror attack on Friday. “It came to our notice in the morning, following which I called the students immediately to my office, and informed the police,” Anami told reporters. He added that the students would be suspended. Two of them are in a first-year engineering course, and the third is a second-year student, The Indian Express reported.
Hindutva activists, including Bajrang Dal members, gathered outside the college after the video went viral, and demanded strict action against the three. One of the activists tried to attack the students while they were being taken to the police station, News9 reported. The police, however, thwarted the attack and escorted the Kashmiris to safety. Members of local Hindutva groups alleged that the students were singing along to a song associated with the Pakistan Army.
A case has been registered under Sections 124A for sedition and 153A (promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, language, etc) of the Indian Penal Code.