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 seen by Reuters.

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.

Opinion

Editorial

Open the books
Updated 20 Feb, 2024

Open the books

Irregularities have been so widespread that even otherwise impartial observers are joining the chorus of voices demanding a recount.
BRICS candidacy
20 Feb, 2024

BRICS candidacy

IN an age beset by geopolitical dissonance, states must establish and nurture foreign relationships that can help...
Pneumonia menace
20 Feb, 2024

Pneumonia menace

PANIC is on the rise as the alarming surge in pneumonia cases has created an explosion of headlines — sans...
PML-N challenge
Updated 19 Feb, 2024

PML-N challenge

Nawaz should not only put away his fears to form a minority govt but also realise the nation has deep wounds to heal.
Democracy’s decline
19 Feb, 2024

Democracy’s decline

DEMOCRACY around the world is on the decline. The Economist Intelligence Unit report titled Age of Conflict has...
Banning festivity
19 Feb, 2024

Banning festivity

EVERY year, as the winter chill gives way to the arrival of spring, a centuries-old tradition is suppressed by the...