After the police withdrew their charges under the strict anti-terror law, a judge on Saturday granted bail to seven students who had been arrested under the UAPA for allegedly shouting offensive slogans and celebrating the Indian cricket team's defeat in the World Cup final.
According to Shafiq Ahmad Bhat, the students' lawyer, the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Ganderbal granted bail to the students of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) in the Ganderbal region of central Kashmir.
He added that on late Saturday night, the students were released.
The lawyer stated that the students' Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) charges had been withdrawn. The UAPA charges were dropped when the police report was filed in the CJM court, according to Bhat.
According to the police, the UAPA charges were dropped after a thoughtful decision was made in response to their parents' undertaking.
According to V K Birdi, Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Kashmir, a thoughtful decision was made after parents of the students assured authorities that their children would not damage anybody else.
Following an investigation by authorities on a complaint from a non-local student, who claimed his college peers had harassed him and shouted offensive remarks after India's World Cup final loss to Australia, the students were taken into custody.
The students were charged under Section 13 of the UAPA, which deals with the inciting or advising of unlawful activity and carries a seven-year prison sentence.
IPC sections 505 and 506, which deal with criminal intimidation and public mischief, were also imposed on the students. If found guilty, these offenses carry a maximum five-year prison sentence.
Several political parties were strongly opposed to the students' booking under the UAPA and requested that the charges be dropped.
Mehbooba Mufti, the head of the PDP, welcomed the charges being dropped and stated that "finally good sense has prevailed. I'm relieved that SKUAST students are no longer facing UAPA charges."