Indian University Students Charged With Sedition As They Cheered For Pakistan

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About 67 Kashmiri students from a university in Northern India were charged with sedition after they cheered for Pakistani cricket team during a match between India and Pakistan in 2014 Asia Cup held at Bangladesh on March 2.

According to M.M Baig, a police officer from Meerut, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the charges were filed after an official complaint has been lodged by Manzoor Ahmed, vice-chancellor of Swami Vivekanand Subhrati University in Meerut.

Aside from sedition, the students were also charged with "instigating hate between two communities." But after reviewing the case by the police, the sedition charges were initially dropped on March 6, according to local media reports.

 In relation to this event, Omar Abdullah, chief minister of the State Jammu and Kashmir, tweeted, "I believe what the students did was wrong and misguided but they certainly didn't deserve to have charges of sedition slapped against them." He added he got in contact with respective authorities of Uttar Pradesh to take care of the issue.  

Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, also requested state officials to drop the charges. Later, Principal Secretary of Uttar Pradesh Anil Kumar Gupta confirmed dropping of sedition charges after some preliminary investigations are conducted by the administrative department.

India breathes with the air of cricket. As the entire country bids for their home team, some Kashmiris offer their support to the Pakistanis because of the age-old conflict between two countries that started from 1947 after India's independence and rise of Pakistan.

The constant harassment of police officials to the Kashmiri people and other violent atrocities was probably another cause of resentment among local people.  

A cricket match between India and Pakistan is considered the biggest event and a matter of national pride between the two disputed countries. 

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