3 Kashmiri Students Roughed up in Hubballi Court, Sent to Custody
The Hubballi bar association has reportedly decided not to represent the Kashmiri students in the case.
Three Kashmiri engineering students who were arrested on Saturday on sedition charges, were remanded to judicial custody till 2 March, Hubballi-Dharwad police commissioner R Dileep told The Quint on Monday, 17 February.
Alleged members of pro-Hindutva organisations tried to attack the students when they were being produced in court, with eye-witnesses confirming that the police had to resort to mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. A suo moto case has been registered against unknown people on the charges of assaulting the students in court, ANI reported.
The students were released on Sunday after the execution of a bond under Section 169 of the CrPC, police said. Refusing to comment on their re-arrest today, Dileep said: “They have been remanded to judicial custody. I don’t want to comment on the procedure. They were arrested and have now been produced in court.”
They were reportedly kept at an undisclosed location following their release on Sunday. Their parents are expected to reach Hubballi by Monday afternoon.
The Kashmiri students studying at KLE Institute of Technology in Hubballi were arrested on sedition charges for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans in a video that was shared widely on social media. They have been booked under IPC 124A (sedition) and other sections relating to spreading communal disharmony and disturbing public tranquility.
The Hubballi bar association has reportedly decided not to represent the Kashmiri students in the case. The students said in court that they had not been subjected to any physical torture by police.
‘Anti-nationals Won’t be Spared’: Karnataka Home Minister
Addressing media persons on Monday, Basavaraj Bommai said that investigation would take place as per law and that “anti-nationals won’t be spared”.
“Things will be done as per the law. Anti-nationals will not be spared, there are certain guidelines that need to be followed, this is why and to ensure that there are no legal hurdles later, they were released on a bond. I have asked the police commissioner to submit a report based on this. As far as I know, there were some doubts about which jurisdiction the incident falls under. All that has been taken care of now and they are in custody,” he said.
Following their conditional release on Sunday, right-wing activists had reportedly staged a protest outside the Gokul Road police station late at night, chanting slogans and set a tyre on fire.
Section 169 of the CrPc is involved when the investigating officer is of the view that there is no sufficient evidence to produce an accused before a court for remand.
"We received information that three students hailing from Kashmir studying at the KLE Institute of Technology had raised slogans supporting Pakistan. They had made a video about it, which has gone viral. Immediately, our team headed by Inspector Gokul Road station went to the spot and arrested them," Hubballi-Dharwad Police Commissioner R Dileep told PTI.
The students reportedly hail from Shopian in south Kashmir. Action was taken against them after the college authorities filed a complaint.
According to the college principal, the engineering students “shouted pro-Pakistan slogans allegedly in the backdrop of the Pulwama attack anniversary yesterday,” as per PTI.
The students were verbally abused and almost attacked by unknown persons as they were being escorted by police from their hostel premises, as per reports by some news outlets.
In the video, the three students can be seen facing the camera with some music playing in the background.
According to PTI, the music is said to be associated with Pakistani military's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), which police said needs to be verified.
Earlier, the police commissioner told ANI, “When we got the information, we arrested them and brought them to the police station. Their college also filed a complaint. We'll take appropriate action in the matter. Investigation will be done. It's too premature to say anything.”
According to PTI, the commissioner also said that the background of the students would be investigated.
“We will look into their background, whether anyone has tried to mislead them,” Dileep reportedly said, adding that the arrest should not be seen as action against any particular community or region.
The three students had been apparently admitted under the central quota. While two of them are first-year students of civil engineering, the third is a third-year student in the same stream, he said.
‘Drop Sedition Charges; Punish Those who Roughed up Students’
Condemning the actions of the 3 Kashmiri students, Nasir Khuehami, spokesperson of J&K Students Association, a body of Kashmiri students urged home minister Amit Sahh and karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa to intervene and drop the charges against the students.
“Whatever students did was their mistake. We condemn what they did in the harshest of words. Kashmiri students should focus on studies and protect the interests of the university. We urge the Kashmiri students to focus on their education,” rather than writing or sharing provocative things on social media. Sedition charge against students is an unacceptably harsh punishment that will ruin their futures & will further alienate them,” the letter read.
He further added that attacking students was a cause of worry for students and parents and urged the state government to make adequate security arrangements.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)
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