Kashmiri Students’ Kin in K’taka, Apologise for ‘Immature’ Conduct

Many lawyers have filed a PIL challenging the Hubballi bar association’s resolution to not represent the students. 

Updated
India
3 min read
Three Kashmiri students, studying at KLE college in Hubballi, were arrested after a video of them allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans went viral on social media. 
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Family members of the three Kashmiri students – who were arrested on charges of sedition over a video that they allegedly made and shared on the anniversary of the Pulwama attack on 14 February – reached Hubballi on Tuesday, 18 February, to meet the Hubballi Dharwad police commissioner.

A local court had on Monday, 17 February, remanded the engineering students to judicial custody for 15 days till 2 March. They are presently being housed in Belgaum’s Hindalga jail, R Dileep, Hubballi Dharwad police chief confirmed to The Quint, but refused to comment on whether he had met with the family members of the accused.

Ahmad, the brother of one of the accused, apologised for his brother’s “naadan” (immature) behaviour.

“We have come to say that we are very sorry. He did something by mistake. We apologise to everyone. He has always been a good student,” Ahmad, who works as a labourer, told The Quint in a telephonic conversation.

Twenty-four lawyers have filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court challenging a resolution passed by Hubballi bar association asking its members to not represent the accused. The matter has been adjourned for 20 February.

‘All Our Hopes Were on Him’

Family members of the three Kashmiri students, who were arrested on sedition charges over a viral video, in Hubballi on Tuesday, 18 February.
Family members of the three Kashmiri students, who were arrested on sedition charges over a viral video, in Hubballi on Tuesday, 18 February.
(Photo: Special arrangement/Nasir Khoueimei)

Ahmad, who was accompanied by his cousin to Hubballi, said that the hopes of the family were pinned on his brother.

“Everyone’s hopes were on him, when he got the chance to study under government quota. We found out what was happening through TV. We would just like to apologise for what he did,” he said.

Visuals of the three students being roughed up, allegedly by a mob of right-wing activists at the Hubballi court complex, had surfaced on Monday. Activists could be heard shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and chased the vehicle that was ferrying the students as it exited the court complex.

PIL in Karnataka High Court

As many as 24 lawyers from Bengaluru, on Tuesday, 18 February, filed a petition seeking to quash the resolution passed on 15 February, by the executive committee of the Hubballi bar association which stated that no member of the association shall represent the three students in court, arguing that such a resolution was illegal and contrary to law.

“If the interim prayer is not granted, the accused in question would remain unrepresented and the illegal order would continue to stand in violation of the law,” reads the petition.

The petition also requests the court to direct authorities to file an FIR and conduct an inquiry into the incidents of violence against the students when they were being escorted out of court by local cops on Tuesday.

Kashmiri students being roughed up allegedly by members of a right-wing group, as they were being produced in the Hubballi court on Monday, 17 February.
Kashmiri students being roughed up allegedly by members of a right-wing group, as they were being produced in the Hubballi court on Monday, 17 February.
(Photo: Special arrangement/Nasir Khuehami)

The petition also sought police protection for the accused and the advocates who represent them, and also asked for the issue of a directive or writ to transfer the case to any court in Bengaluru.

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