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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Bail guarantors delayed, J&K students held in Agra still in jail 3 weeks later

"The delay has been caused as no local from Agra was ready to come forward as a guarantor (for their surety),” said Altaf Ahmad, the father of Inayat Altaf Sheikh, one of the three arrested students.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi, Srinagar |
Updated: April 20, 2022 5:54:22 pm
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Three weeks after the Allahabad High Court granted them bail, the three Kashmiri engineering students arrested in Agra over posts following Pakistan’s win over India in a T20 World Cup match, and charged with sedition, continue to languish in jail.

“The delay has been caused as no local from Agra was ready to come forward as a guarantor (for their surety),” said Altaf Ahmad, the father of Inayat Altaf Sheikh, one of the three arrested students. The families had to find guarantors back home in Kashmir, and with police seeking their verification, the process has been delayed.

The court had granted the three bail on a surety bond of Rs 2 lakh each. “We somehow arranged the money and deposited it in the bank,” Ahmad said. The family partly arranged the money through a crowdfunding campaign. However, by the time the money and documents were arranged, police came up with the verification demand. “We have forwarded the same to the J&K Police,” Ahmad said.

Nasir Khuehami, spokesperson of the J&K Students’ Association which has been providing legal assistance to the students, said: “The families of the boys are very poor and they do not have a lot of money… They are making efforts and hopefully the issue will be resolved in the coming days.”

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In his order granting the three bail, Judge Ajay Bhanot had noted that the court was entertaining the bail application directly, which was an “exceptional circumstance”. “The unity of India is not made of bamboo reeds which will bend to the passing winds of empty slogans. The foundations of our nation are more enduring. Eternal ideals bind the indestructible unity of India. Constitutional values create an indissoluble union of India. Every citizen of the country is the custodian, and the State is the sentinel of the unity of India and the constitutional values of the nation,” the court said.

Inayat Altaf Sheikh, Showkat Ahmad Ganai and Arshad Yousuf, students at Raja Balwant Singh Engineering College in Agra, were detained a day after Pakistan defeated India in the World Cup clash. They were recipients of the PM’s Special Scholarship Scheme for J&K students.

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