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World Cup final: J&K court grants interim bail to students accused of raising pro-Pakistan slogans

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The Jammu and Kashmir court has granted interim bail to the Kashmiri students who have been booked under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The students were booked for allegedly raising pro-Pakistani slogans after Australia defeated India in the World Cup on November 19.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Fayaz Ahmad Qureshi granted interim bail to seven students after a police report revealed that charges under UAPA were dropped and instead, the offence of promoting enmity punishable under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was incorporated.

According to the police report, on November 20, 2023, one Sachen Bains filed a written complaint at the Ganderbal Police Station accusing seven Kashmiri students of abusing, threatening, and targeting him due to his support for India. This alleged incident took place during the World Cup final match between India and Australia.

Subsequently, on the same day, a first information report (FIR) was registered against seven students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), Kashmir under section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) of UAPA and section 505 (statements conducing public mischief), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of IPC.

The police report further revealed that both superior officers and senior prosecuting officers analyzed the circumstances, evidence, and statements on record. 

Based on the same, they opined that the evidence did not link the accused individuals to the commission of an offense under Section 13 of UAPA. However, they concluded that the offense under Section 153-A was applicable.

 The Court recorded that as per the investigating of the case and opinion sought from the Senior prosecuting officer, the section 13 UA(P) Act has been dropped from the instant case while as section 153-A IPC has been incorporated in the instant case.

As per the statement of witnesses, other evidences and legal opinion so far section 153-A, 505, 506 IPC have been established against the accused persons in the instant case and the investigation of the instant case is going on”,

As a result, the Court granted interim bail to all seven students until December 13, 2023, on the condition that they refrain from engaging in any anti-national activities, influencing witnesses in the case, and furnish personal bonds and surety bonds of ₹25,000 each.

Advocate Syed Shafat Andrabi and Shafiq Ahmad Bhat appeared on behalf of seven Kashmiri students.

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