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Kashmiri student held for ‘glorifying’ bomber behind Pulwama attack

Five other students detained for questioning, released; police personnel deployed on campus as tension grows

Written by Yasir Ahmed, Saurabh Parashar | Baddi |
February 17, 2019 11:19:48 am
Kashmiri student held for ‘glorifying’ bomber behind Pulwama attack A Kashmiri students of Chitkara University at Baddi (HP) after police arrested him against posted a objectionable post on social media on Saturday, February 16 2019. Express photo by Jaipal Singh

A BTech student of a Himachal Pradesh university was arrested for allegedly “glorifying” suicide bomber Aadil Ahmed Dar, who was behind the Pulwama attack, in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed, amid tension on campus Saturday.

Tahseen Gul, 21, a native of Kashmir and second year student of Chitkara University in Baddi, had allegedly put up a picture of Dar as his Whatsapp profile photo and the words — “Allah Talah aap ki shahadat kabool kare (May Allah accept your martydom)” — as his status. He was booked under IPC section 153B (imputing, making assertions prejudicial to national integration). The FIR was lodged on the basis of a complaint filed by retd. Col. AK Chauhan, dean of Chitkara University.

Read: ‘We are living in fear’: Many leave campus in Punjab, others stay holed up

On Friday night, hundreds of the university’s students gathered outside Gul’s hostel, demanding his arrest and of other Kashmiri students. The mounting tension on campus spurred the authorities to seek police protection. Several personnel were deployed on campus early Saturday and six Kashmiri students were shifted to a guesthouse.

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On Saturday morning, police detained six Kashmiri students including Gul and questioned them at length. While Gul was booked and subsequently arrested, the remaining five students were released.

Baddi Superintendent of Police (SP) Rohit Malpani said, “Gul has been taken into custody and is being questioned. As a precautionary measure, we also questioned five other students of the university who are natives of Kashmir. All five were found innocent and released.”

Also read: Threatened, harassed by ‘radical groups’, students head to shelter home set up by J&K group in Landran

In Barotiwala police station, Gul told The Indian Express, “When I learnt about the attack in Pulwama, I first updated my WhatsApp status and inadvertently also tagged the picture of the suicide bomber. Later, I realised my mistake and deleted my WhatsApp status. Next day, a few fellow students raised strong objections to my WhatsApp status message and picture and told me to remove it. Sensing a threat to my life, I informed the university authorities. I also submitted a written apology to the university. Later on, I came to know that the university had lodged a police complaint against me. I regret my mistake.”

Police have confiscated Gul’s mobile phone and a laptop which are being scrutinised by cyber experts. The student, who underwent a medical examination, will be produced in court Sunday.

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