Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Monday demanded withdrawal of cases against three AMU students from the Valley who were booked after they allegedly tried to hold a prayer meeting for slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Manan Bashir Wani. She also asked the Centre to intervene in the matter.Also Read - Delimitation, Statehood, Assembly Elections | 5 Takeways From PM Modi's All-Party Meet With J&K Leaders
The three Kashmiri students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) were booked Friday for sedition for allegedly raising “anti-India” slogans and trying to hold a prayer meeting for Wani, a day after he was killed in a gun battle with security forces in north Kashmir’s Handwara area. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir on Alert Ahead of PM Modi’s All-Party Meet on J&K | Top Developments
“Pushing youth to the wall will be counter productive. Centre must intervene in withdrawing cases against students and AMU authorities must revoke their suspension,” she posted on Twitter. Also Read - Gupkar Alliance to Participate in PM Modi's Kashmir Meeting on Thursday
The former chief minister said state governments outside Jammu and Kashmir should be “sensitive” to the situation and “prevent further alienation”.
“It will be a travesty to punish them (students) for remembering their former colleague (Wani) who was a victim of relentless violence in Kashmir,” the PDP president said in another tweet.
Twenty-seven-year-old Wani, who was pursing a Ph.D course in allied geology at the AMU, had quit the university and joined militant ranks in January this year.
Slamming Mufti’s remarks, former CM Omar Abdullahsaid Mufti was suffering from a short memory. He wrote on Twitter: “How short Ms Mufti’s memory is! She forgets that she was the architect & beneficiary (it kept her allies in good humour) for her entire period in office. She is in no position to criticise anyone for ‘relentless violence’.”
In the wake of the suspension of the three Kashmiri students, more than 1,200 students from Jammu and Kashmir studying at the varsity have threatened to leave for their homes on October 17, if the sedition charges against the three were not dropped.
In a letter to Proctor, AMU, students of Jammu and Kashmir, studying at the university said “no prayers or any relevant activity was observed and the directions of the AMU Proctor were duly followed”.
“The tense situation as reported in the media caused a serious concern among the students at Aligarh Muslim University. The students at the University in panic were discussing the situation emerging in the valley at the Kennedy Hall Lawn, and were peacefully talking among each other. No prayers or any relevant activity was observed, and the directions of the AMU ? Proctor were duly followed,” the students said in the letter.
They said some non-Kashmiri people armed with lathis attacked the sitting students and caused massive disturbance and noisy scenes.
However, the Kashmiri students dispersed immediately and no protest or law and order violation took place. Later, a vilification campaign against the students from Jammu and Kashmir was started by media that Kashmiri students violated the law and disturbed the peace in the campus. Though nothing of that sort had happened and the same was later confirmed by PRO AMU to the media, the letter read.
The students said they strongly condemn the “fabricated allegations and a systematic vilification campaign” against the students and the university.
“We take strong objection to fabricating cases against Kashmiri students and thereby attempting to jeopardize our career. We, the students from Kashmir are law abiding and did not breach the guaranteed freedom of speech, or act,” they s adding peace at AMU campus has always been the first priority of all Kashmiri students.
Referring to the suspension of students by the university and subsequent sedition charges, the Jammu and Kashmir students refuted the allegations of violation of law and order and demanded an end to “defamation of highly educated Kashmiri scholars”.
“We demand an immediate revocation of suspension orders/show cause notices and an urgent withdrawal of the sedition charges and relevant legal sections against AMU scholars. Imposing such sections is to threaten the Kashmiri students at the university and is a cause of serious concern. We cannot stay at the campus with the burden of these politically motivated and fabricated charges,” they said.
The students threatened to surrender their degrees and leave for their homes if the suspension is not revoked and case withdrawn by Wednesday.
“In case, the suspension/show cause notices are not revoked immediately and sedition charges and relevant charges are not withdrawn, we the students from the state of Jammu and Kashmir at AMU will be forced to leave the campus en-masse on Sir Syed Day (17 October).
“We, the 1200 students will surrender our degrees and leave for our homes for reasons of safety and security. All the responsibility in that case will fall on the University, and local administration. We are feeling threatened and challenged and our career development is under stake, under such fearful circumstances,” the letter reads.
(With PTI inputs)