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Seven Students In Kashmir Arrested Under UAPA For Celebrating India’s World Cup Defeat

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Srinagar: Seven students from a university in Jammu and Kashmir were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on Monday, as officials reported. The students allegedly engaged in chanting anti-India slogans and celebrating the Indian cricket team’s loss in the World Cup 2023 final.

The Kashmiri students, who were taken into custody, are studying at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST)–Kashmir, as per the police. They have been booked under multiple sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Following criticism from the National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Jammu and Kashmir Police defended the arrests, saying that they had invoked a “softer provision” of the anti-terror law.

“The boys have been booked under section 13 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, or UAPA. In contrast to other provisions of the Act, it is a softer provision,” Jammu and Kashmir Police said.

Highlighting that the incident extended beyond the act of chanting pro-Pakistan slogans, the police said, “These slogans, as has usually been the case with a select few bullies, were aired to intimidate those who disagreed and also to identify and vilify those who choose to keep a distance.”

Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) specifically deals with instigating or advising any unlawful activities, with a potential imprisonment penalty of up to seven years.

“It is about terrorising others who may be nourishing pro-India feelings or anti-Pakistan feelings or disagreeing. There were written complaints to evidence this,” police said.

The complaint that led to the arrests was lodged by a non-local student from Punjab, who alleged being verbally assaulted and threatened by the accused students for expressing support for Team India.

The complainant also added that the Kashmiri students celebrated India’s defeat and even chanted pro-Pakistan slogans, creating fear among students from outside the Union Territory (UT).

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