T20 victory celebrations: Mehbooba urges Modi to intervene in Held Valley students arrest case
Modi and Mehbooba Mufti
Occupied Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti wrote a letter to India PM Modi and urged him to 'intervene' in the matter regarding the arrests of three Kashmiri students in Agra for allegedly celebrating Pakistan's win over India in a T20 World Cup cricket match.
Mufti said that the cricket match between India and Pakistan was “solely a source of entertainment” for Kashmiri people but led to booking the youngsters under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act “for simply choosing to cheer the winning side.”
The former J&K chief minister wrote, “While within Kashmir youth are no strangers to the state excesses, three students in Agra too have been arrested and charged with sedition for the same reasons. This despite the college's own admission that they didn't engage in any activity that might be construed as anti-national.”
Earlier this week, three Kashmiri students were suspended by an engineering college in Agra for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans and sharing chats after India lost the World T-20 match on Sunday night.
In the letter to PM Modi, Mufti said that patriotism and a sense of loyalty have to be cultivated with compassion and can't be forced by “wielding the baton or by the barrel of a gun.” She argued that such punitive action, laced with contempt, against Kashmiri students will further the “sense of mistrust and alienation” between the younger generation and the rest of the country.
“Wisdom deems it prudent for this government to engage with them, understand their aspirations and goals. I fervently request you to intervene so that the future of these young bright minds is not destroyed,” she wrote.