‘Shed my blood for his education,’ says father after son booked under sedition

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Bandipora: Forty-five-year-old Mohammad Shaban Ganie on Wednesday had an unusual conversation over phone with his son, who is studying in an Agra college, that left him numb and clueless.

On Tuesday Raja Balwant Singh Engineering Technical College in Agra city of Uttar Pradesh had suspended three Kashmir students allegedly for taking to social media to celebrate Pakistan team’s victory over India in the T20 World Cup match on Sunday.

Ganie’s 25-year-old son, Showket Ahmad Ganie was one among them. For the last four years, he has been an engineering student at the college. Now, Showket, along with two other Kashmiri students – Arshid Yusuf and Inayat Altaf Sheikh –  were taken into custody by police on Monday and a case was registered under stringent laws.

As per reports, the police has booked them under IPC Section 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups), 505 (1)(B) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public) and Section 66 F of the Information Technology Act.

“Showket called me yesterday [wednesday] in the evening and said that the police have registered a case against him and three others and he cried and said that Baba we do not understand what we will do,” Ganie told The Kashmir Walla, at his home in Hajin area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir.

Grey haired Ganie, a labourer by profession, is clueless and does not know how to plead the case of his son who is behind bars more than 1000 miles from home. 

“I don’t understand where to go now to get my son released,” he said. “I do not know the police station where my son is locked up, nor do I know my son’s college. I have shed my blood and sweat for the education of my son and now I have been made to face this.” 

In the past few days, several Kashmiri students have been booked in Kashmir and some other parts of the country  under stringent anti-terrorism laws for allegeldy celebrating the victory of Pakistan cricket team as they won the match against India by 10 wickets.

“I was completely unaware. I didn’t know anything till morning when I heard from my neighbors that my son was jailed there,” said Ganie, adding that he was shocked when he heard that a cricket match ruined his son’s career.

Teary-eyed Ganie pleads that his son was not involved in any anti-national activity. “He has been studying in Agra since 2017 and has not been involved in any anti-national activity. I have heard from my son many times that the teachers there have praised him as he was paying close attention to his studies,” he said.

Ganie argued that the whole world was celebrating Pakistan’s victory during the T20 World Cup match but “I don’t understand why only they have been jailed.” He appealed to the Jammu and Kashmir government to help him get his son released.

The Jammu and Kashmir Students Association (JKSA) has written to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, to drop the charges against the three Kashmiri students and revoke their suspension from college also. However, the trio will be produced before a magistrate for the remand in Agra.

The National Spokesperson of JKSA, Nasir Khuehami, said that there is nothing wrong in cheering and yelling for any team. “It is the right of an individual to cheer for the sports team or player he/she likes the most and the arbitrary action of the college authorities and of the police against the Kashmiri students is totally unwarranted,” he said. 

The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti also called for the release of the students. She said that “crackdown on Kashmiri students both within J-K and outside is reprehensible.”

“Situation in J-K after two years of suppression should’ve been an eye opener for GOI and lead to course correction. BJP’s pseudo patriotism disregards the idea of India. Release these students immediately,” said Mufti.

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