Three Kashmiri students walk out of Agra jail in sedition case

Three Kashmiri students, who were languishing in a Agra prison for want of guarantors even after being granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in a sedition case about a month ago, finally walked out of the jail on Monday evening.

The students — Arsheed Yusuf, Inayat Altaf Sheikh and Showkat Ahmed Ganai — were arrested on October 26 last year allegedly for raising pro-Pakistan slogans after Indian team’s T20 cricket match.

Nasir Khuehami, spokesperson of the J&K Students’ Association that has been assisting the students in their legal battle, said: “They have suffered a great deal, from being roughed up at the Agra Sessions Court to facing recurrent delays in hearings. Finally, the students were released on Monday. There was delay in release for want of guarantors.”

Noting that it was entertaining the bail application directly, which was an “exceptional circumstance”, Judge Ajay Bhanot, in his order had said: “The unity of India is not made of bamboo reeds, which will bend to the passing winds of empty slogans. Constitutional values create an indissoluble Union of India. Every citizen is the custodian, and the State is the sentinel of the unity of India and the constitutional values of the nation.”

The fact that people were travelling long distances within the country for education was something to celebrate, the court had said. “Students travelling to different parts of the country in quest of knowledge is the true celebration of India’s diversity and a vivid manifestation of its unity. It is the duty of the people of the hoisting state to create enabling conditions for visiting scholars to learn and live the constitutional values of our nation. It is also the obligation of young scholars to imbibe and adhere to such values.”

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