Kashmiri students arrested for celebrating India’s Cricket World Cup defeat get bail

SRINAGAR  -  An Indian court has granted bail to seven Kashmiri students who were arrested under anti-terror laws for allegedly celebrating Australia’s victory over India in the men’s Cricket World Cup final last month, a lawyer said on Sunday. The students from an agriculture university were detained in occupied Kashmir after one student filed a complaint accusing them of using anti-India slogans and cheering for Pakistan along with Australia after the match. Local political leaders opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s rule had said the arrests were a way to intimidate locals using the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The act deals with inciting any unlawful activity and is punishable with seven years’ imprisonment. Police dropped the UAPA charges and an Indian court granted bail to the students on Saturday, according to the lawyer of students, Shafiq Bhat, and a court order. In granting bail, the local court imposed a condition that the students should be available when needed for the investigation and “shall not indulge in any anti national activity,” the order stated. The students still face allegations under other Indian laws that related to making statements inducing public mischief. Australia had entered the World Cup match as clear underdogs against an all-conquering India side, who had won 10 matches in a row to storm into the final. But India was defeated in the final match on Nov 19.

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