This Article is From Mar 07, 2014

Sedition charge dropped but students who cheered Pak still being probed for 'rioting'

Sedition charge dropped but students who cheered Pak still being probed for 'rioting'
Lucknow: A group of Kashmiri students of a private college in Uttar Pradesh won't face sedition charges anymore for cheering Pakistan in a cricket match, but they continue to face a police investigation, despite Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav calling the case against them "too grave".

The police say they are still investigating allegations of promoting enmity, rioting and vandalism against them.

Akhilesh Yadav said on NDTV's 'Candidates 2014' that sedition charges were too grave. "I have spoken to my senior ministers. These children didn't understand that this matter would be blown to such proportions. I feel the charges on them could have been something lesser," he said, adding, however, that "students must also understand."

67 students were suspended on Monday by the private Swami Vivekananda Subharti University in Meerut for cheering Pakistan's victory in an Asia Cup match on Sunday that India lost. The college said their loud celebrations escalated into clashes with other students, and vandalism.

They were booked for sedition but that charge was dropped on Thursday, hours after the home ministry asked the Uttar Pradesh government for a report, and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah spoke to Akhilesh Yadav.

Mr Abdullah had slammed the action as uncalled for and an "unacceptably harsh punishment" and said it will ruin the future of the students and further alienate them.

The students, who were escorted out of their hostel by security on Monday, say they were told their suspension was for three days but have not been allowed to return.

"The college never heard our side of the story. Some us were crying as we had no money," said a student who has returned to his home in Kashmir.

Manzoor Ahmad, Vice Chancellor of the university, said a three-member committee under a Kashmiri professor has been set up and a decision on revocation of their suspension will be taken based on its report which is expected in a few days.