Meerut/Srinagar: The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday night withdrew sedition charges levelled against 66 Kahsmiri students of Swami Vivekananda Subharati University, Meerut, for cheering the Pakistani cricket team during its match against India in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
Late Thursday night, UP Principal Secretary (Home) Navneet Sehgal said the sedition charge has been withdrawn.
Meerut district authorities has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the conduct of the Kashmiri students studying at the university.
The police action of booking the students under sedition charges has sparked outrage in Kashmir valley, with Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah speaking to UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to personally look into the matter.
In neighbouring Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Toiba chief and mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks Hafiz Saeed tweeted: "We would like to offer scholarships for these expelled students wherever in the world they want to study. Pakistani nation is proud of them"
Saeed further tweeted: "Expulsion of Kashmiri students from a university & charges of sedition for supporting Pakistan in Cricket explains how democratic India is."
Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson, too, jumped into the fray, remarking: "We saw Indian media reports that there were all-night celebrations and there were also reports that 67 Kashmiri students were expelled.
"If these Kashmiri students want to come and pursue their studies in Pakistan, our hearts and academic institutions are open to them", said spokesperson Tasneem Aslam.