The lawyers’ associations in Agra have decided not to provide legal assistance to the three Kashmiri students who were charged with sedition after they allegedly cheered Pakistan’s win against India in a T-20 World Cup match
Families of the students are now approaching lawyers in other cities.
Advocate Madhuvan Dutt Chaturvedi of Mathura has agreed to defend the students after one of the families contacted him.
Chaturvedi said, “We will move a bail application for the students in the Agra court soon,” he said.
Chaturvedi is fighting the case of 26-year-old Ph.D scholar Atiq-ur Rehman, Masood Ahmad and Mohammad Alam, who were booked for sedition and under UAPA along with journalist Siddique Kappan while going to meet the family of the Hathras victim.
Lawyers, meanwhile, issued a statement that no help will be provided to ‘those who go against the country’.
“These students got admission under the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) in India to build their careers and they were cheering for the neighbouring country against their nation,” said Nitin Verma, president of Youth Lawyers’ Association (Agra division).
President of Agra Advocate Association, Sunil Sharma, said students should have focused on their studies instead of ‘indulging in anti-national activities’.
It may be recalled that on Thursday, the students of RBS Engineering Technical Institute had been heckled by BJP youth wing members while they were being taken to the district jail after being produced in court. A few lawyers had also attempted to punch them.
The students were booked on Wednesday for “promoting enmity, committing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony, making statements conducting public mischief” and for cyber terrorism, an offence that could lead to a life sentence.
Charges of sedition were added a day later.
Meanwhile, the Jammu & Kashmir Students’ Association has prepared a list of colleges across the country where Kashmiri students are ‘unnecessarily being harassed’ and urged the respective state governments to blacklist them.
Spokesperson of the association, Nasir Khuehami, said in a statement, “We are coordinating with the state governments in Punjab, Karnataka, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where Kashmiri students are presently studying. We have prepared a list of such colleges and the same will be forwarded to the respective state governments for action against those who fail to give the protection and ensure safety of their students.”