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'ABVP Men' Kick Kashmiri Students Out of Football Match at Jammu Varsity

Activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) stormed a playground at the Jammu University on Friday and stopped a football match between students of the varsity and the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) over “disrespect” to the national anthem.

Mufti Islah | CNN-News18

Updated:April 8, 2017, 1:56 PM IST

Srinagar: Activists from fringe Right-wing groups stormed a playground at the Jammu University on Friday and stopped a football match between students of the varsity and the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) over “disrespect” to the national anthem.

The men allegedly stopped Kashmiri students from taking part in the final match.

An IUST student said the activists belonged to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS.

"We were playing when all of a sudden around 40 men waving ABVP flags shouted slogans like ‘agar yahan rehna hai to Vande Mataram kehna hai’ (Say Vande Mataram if you want to live here)," an IUST student told News18 from Jammu.

The group then allegedly accused them of disrespecting the national anthem, and made them stand in attention again. "When the national anthem was played before the match, we stood for it. We didn't show any disrespect while it was playing. The ABVP men asked us to stand again for the national anthem. This time too, we all stood for it,” the student said.

He termed the allegations of disrespecting the national anthem as baseless.

Alleging that the Jammu University authorities kept mum, the IUST student said, "They didn't stop the ABVP men from interfering. We all left the ground and reached the hostel.”

Jammu ABVP secretary Deepak Gupta, however, said the men in question were not from the ABVP. “Those who stopped the match are not from the ABVP. They might be students from the university. We saw the video of the students who were not standing in proper position. We demand action be taken against them by university authorities,” he told CNN-News18.

Professor Avtar Singh Jasrotia, director of Sports and Physical Education, told News18 that the Kashmiri students stood in attention during the national anthem.

“Those who stopped them are wrong. They told the students to stand up on two occasions, citing they were not standing in the proper position. The Kashmiri students stood twice. They stood up during the entire 58 seconds of the rendition,” he said, adding that the university was functioning as normal on Saturday.

In Srinagar, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah criticised the incident, saying, “Such harassment of Kashmiris is happening on a daily basis in new India under the current dispensation.”

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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