Kashmiri students forced out of Indian university plead not guilty

Srinagar: Students who were ‘forced’ out from an educational institute in the State of Uttar Pradesh pleaded not guilty saying that they were innocent and did not resort to any violence.

“We are not terrorists but were harassed because we are Kashmiri and we did not support Indian cricket team. We don’t want to continue our study in Meerut University because we are not feeling secure,” a local news agency quoted a student as having said. Some of the students interacted with media after returning from Swami Vivekananda Subharti University on Wednesday.

One of the students – Aijaz Ahmed – said that the sedition charges leveled against them had no justification. “It was they (rival students) who resorted to violence and damaged furniture and smashed windowpanes. The irony is that instead of taking any action against them, we were thrown out of the University,” he said. He said that supporting any cricket team is not a crime while the fact is that University Warden is witness to the fact that Kashmiri students did not resort to violence.

“Everything was normal till India was defeated. We had actually requested the Warden to close the television set but he did not respond. When the match was over, some of the agitated students who were disappointed started beating two Kashmiri students. Our Warden intervened and chased them away while some of the Hindu senior students too tried to save us from the wrath of unruly students,” he said.

Another student told media reporters that they could not sleep whole night and had thought that everything would be normal next day. “To our surprise, next day non-Kashmiri students staged a protest demanded our expulsion from the University,” he said adding that if Kashmiri people are terrorists then they should be barred from taking admission in any Indian colleges.

Castigating State Government for not ensuring safety for all the 67 students, these students said that they spent the days and nights in open while no one from the government bothered to approach them. They further said that they are not feeling secure and appealed to the State Government to take measures to secure their future. (CNS)