Several Muslims have been arrested by Indian police for celebrating the Pakistan cricket team’s recent victory over their bitter rivals.
Three Kashmiri students were arrested in Uttar Pradesh and charged with ‘promoting enmity and cyber terrorism’ after shouting ‘anti-India and pro-Pakistan’ slogans, with several other arrests reported as part of an apparent crackdown targeting Pakistani-supporting Muslims in India.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have been worsening in recent years as a result of increasingly hardline nationalist policies by India’s ruling BJP party, which has been accused of fuelling anti-Muslim discrimination.
Disputes over the Indian-administered Kashmir province have also resulted in violence by Indian police and members of the public against Muslims living in India, with the fierce rivalry between the two countries’ cricket teams prompting renewed attacks on Kashmiris and other Muslims.
The three Kashmiri students were first suspended by their university for allegedly posting on WhatsApp in support of the Pakistani cricketers, who beat India by 10 wickets in the T20 Cricket World Cup earlier this week.
However following a complaint from the BJP, the students were subsequently arrested and charged, with a police report on their arrest claiming ‘these people are trying to stir tension, which might spoil the atmosphere of the country’, per The Quint.
Elsewhere, BBC News reports that a teacher in Rajasthan lost her job and was also arrested for posting a celebratory WhatsApp status, while in Punjab several Kashmiris were reportedly attacked for supporting Pakistan.
In Kashmir itself, students and staff at two medical colleges were charged under anti-terror laws for chanting pro-Pakistan slogans during the match, with groups of cricket fans taking to the streets following the decisive victory, chanting ‘Long live Pakistan’.
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