Thrashed in court premises: Kashmiri student trio in Bangalore rearrested, sent to 14-day custody

Srinagar, Feb 17: The three Kashmiri engineering students at a college in Bangalore facing sedition charges were arrested again and produced before a local court on Monday after protests broke out against the police for releasing them on execution of a bond under Section 169 of CrPC.

The court remanded all the three accused to judicial custody till March 2.

The arrested students have been identified as Basit Aashiq Sofi of Sem Pora village in Baramula district, Talib Majeed of Krandigam in Anantnag district and Aamir Mohi Uddin Wani of Batkote in Anantnag district are now been handed over to the police.

While two of the accused are studying in the first semester and one is studying in third semester of civil engineering. Under the Government of India quota the trio had got seats at the KLEIT in Hubballi.

On Sunday, a day after they were arrested, the three students had been released by the police on the basis of bonds executed by them as per Criminal Procedure Code section 169.

After pro-Hindu organizations and union minister Prahalad Joshi, expressed anguish at the way the case was handled by the police and came down on them heavily, the police took all the three students into custody again and produced them in the court.

The trio were arrested on Saturday for “raising pro-Pakistan slogans” and posting it on social media on the first anniversary of the attack that left scores of CRPF soldiers dead at Pulwama in Kashmir.

They were let off on Sunday execution of a bond under Section 169 of CrPC.

“They (Kashmiri students) have been arrested, produced before the court and remanded in judicial custody,” the Hubballi-Dharwad police Commissioner R Dileep told PTI.

The police had come under severe criticism for releasing the youths on Sunday.

According to police sources, they were apprehended Monday morning and taken to court.

In the meantime, Dharwad Bar Association had decided not to appear for the accused in the case. At the time the students were taken for judicial custody, the court premises witnessed frenzy of activities. Pro-Hindu organization members beat up the accused black and blue. The protesters also threw shoes at the police jeep.

At last, the police who brought the three students with tight police security, made them to sit in the special room. The advocates got angry at this, and argued with the advocates about putting the accused in special room. They urged the police to keep the accused students in lockup, and not the special room.

In view of the Bar Association’s pressure, the police made the students to sit in the lockup room. Thereafter they presented them before judge Pushpa. None of the advocates from Hubballi came forward to appear for the accused in the case. The judge, who gathered information about the case, sent the students to judicial custody till March 2.

The action came after members of right wing organisations staged demonstrations outside the police station on Sunday.

Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik was among those who criticised the police for releasing the youth who allegedly “demonstrated their anti-India vitriol on the first anniversary of Pulwama attack.”

Police sources said Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai too spoke to the police officials about the case.

Lawyers decide not to represent trio

Bengaluru, Feb 17: The Hubli Bar Association has passed a resolution stating that none of its advocate members would represent three Kashmiri students recently charged with Sedition for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans.

The college students were arrested for posting the slogans on social media a year after the terrorist attack at Pulwama in Kashmir that claimed the lives of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.

The resolution, issued in Kannada, translates that the accused persons had indulged in “anti-national activities” and that no advocate from the Bar Association would be appearing on their behalf.

The Bar Association, through its resolution passed on February 15, further made a request to all advocates in the state to not represent the three students. The Association also wrote to the President of the Karnataka Bar Association in this regard.

It is reported that the three Kashmiri engineering students were released after execution of a bond under Section 169 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) yesterday.

This, however, is not first time that a Bar Association has passed a resolution asking its members to abstain from appearing for a particular person/s. Recently, the Mysuru Bar Association had passed a similar resolution requesting all its members to refrain from appearing for Nalini Balakumar, who was charged with sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for holding a Free Kashmir placard during an anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) protest.

A few days after the Mysuru Bar Association passed the above resolution barring its members from appearing for Balakumar, around 169 lawyers from the state – including Senior Advocates – signed a Vakalatnama offering to appear for her in court.

Last month, a Mysuru court had granted anticipatory bail to Balakumar. While doing so, the judge stated that that the offence alleged against Balakumar is not exclusively punishable with death or imprisonment for life. (Bar and Bench)

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