In a controversial turn of events, seven students from Jammu and Kashmir have been arrested for allegedly celebrating India’s defeat in the recent ODI World Cup final against Australia. The students are accused of raising anti-national and pro-Pakistani slogans following India’s loss in the final, which took place on November 19 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The arrests have been made under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), a stringent anti-terrorism law. This means that the individuals could face up to seven years in prison, a fine, or both. The arrests were triggered by an official complaint filed by another student against the seven for celebrating India’s loss and cheering for Australia and Pakistan.
According to Reuters, a police official handling the case stated that the charges were filed after they obtained video evidence of the students raising anti-India slogans. The official further disclosed that the seven arrested students are enrolled in an agriculture university in the border state.
The arrests have sparked a political debate, with differing opinions from various political parties. Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, expressed her shock over the incident, stating, “It is shocking that cheering for a winning team too has been criminalized in Kashmir.”
India’s journey in the ODI World Cup began with a victory over the five-time champion team in Chennai. However, their dreams were dashed in the final match in Ahmedabad, leaving many Indian cricket fans heartbroken worldwide.
Despite remaining unbeaten with a 10-game winning streak until the final, India fell short of the coveted trophy and had to settle for the runner-up position in the 2023 edition. The arrests of the seven students have reignited tensions in the region and raised concerns about freedom of expression. The situation is being closely monitored by political observers and human rights groups.