Islamabad, March 8: The recent episode in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, where 67 Kashmiri students were suspended from college for three days after they cheered Pakistan’s victory over India at an Asia Cup cricket match reflects the growing intolerance in India, a leading daily in Pakistan said Saturday.
“The episode is reflective of the intolerance that seems sneakily to be growing in India, casting its long shadow over claims towards progressiveness,” Dawn said in its editorial.
The Meerut police pressed sedition charges against the students from Kashmir. The charges were later dropped.
The reports of the state government and the university were contradictory as the state government said that the content of the charges made against the students did mention sedition but the university denied it.
It cited the vice-chancellor of the Swami Vivekananda Subharti University who said that it was for the police to explain why they had to file sedition charges because the students’ behaviour “in no way fell in the category of ‘treason against the nation’”.
“That the police should have acted against students enjoying a cricket match is stupefying, particularly since similar scenes were taking place throughout South Asia. Regrettable as it is, the episode betrays the Indian security authorities’ mindset when it comes to Kashmiris and Pakistan,” the editorial stated.
Though the sedition charges were dropped, damage was done, “for the police action heightened tension on campus and the Kashmiri students had to be escorted to New Delhi”.
The maturity expected of Indian authorities was found missing, the editorial said.