Meerut district administration has rejected the BJP’s allegation that sedition charges against a group of “unidentified” Kashmiri students for allegedly cheering Pakistan in a cricket match against India were dropped under the influence of the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh, and asserted that the decision was based on the merits.
Sources said that in a joint report sent to Chief Electoral Officer of UP Umesh Sinha, Meerut District Magistrate Pankaj Yadav and SSP Onkar Singh have claimed that they decided to drop the sedition charges on the merits, as per the law and without influence from any quarter.
UP CEO Umesh Sinha had sought a report on the matter after the state BJP unit had requested for its intervention, alleging the Akhilesh Yadav’s government decision was violation of model code of conduct. Sinha confirmed that he has received the report and forwarded it to the Election Commission of India, seeking guidance for further action on the issue.
Meerut police on Wednesday had registered an FIR against unidentified students under IPC sections including 124-A (sedition) and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups and ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language). The sedition charges were withdrawn next day, and Meerut SSP Onkar Singh had then claimed that the move was initiated as no evidence corroborating the offence was found during investigation.
Incidentally, the same day J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah had tweeted he would talk to Akhilesh on the issue, and later thanked him for dropping the charges.
The incident was related to an India-Pakistan match in Asia Cup on March 2 during which, the Swami Vivekananda Subharti University authorities alleged, a section of students raised pro-Pakistan slogans and indulged in unruly behaviour, broke window panes of the hostel building, destroyed furniture and pulled down the badminton court poles. The vice-chancellor, in his office order, had termed these actions of the students as “anti-national.”
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