Mehbooba Muft
Mehbooba Mufti, president of People's Democratic Party,REUTERS

Former J&K Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has defended the seven Kashmiri students whose names have appeared in the chargesheet that was filed by the Delhi Police on January 14. The chargesheet was filed against the former Jawaharlal Nehru Student Union (JNSU) President Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven Kashmiri students who are Basharat Ali, Umair Gul, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Rayees Rasool, Bashir Bhat and Aquib Hussain.

The students were accused of rasing anti-national and Pro-Azadi slogans during an event on February 9, 2016, inside the JNU campus to commemorate the hanging of parliament convict, Afzal Guru, which according to Delhi Police amounts to sedition.

However, PDP has come out in strong support of the Kashmiri students calling the charges "politically motivated" and a "vote bank appeasement tactic by BJP's government". 

While giving the details of the chargesheet, PDP Youth wing President and spokesperson, Waheed Para said that these are frivolous charges made against the Kashmiri students on the basis of which they are likely to face arrests.

The chargesheet produced by the Delhi Police mentions that the Kashmiri students were present at the event raising anti-India slogans.

"There is neither an act nor any intention mentioned. Just presence of students in a campus protest can't make them anti-national & can't be sufficient proof to file chargesheet against the students," Waheed tweeted.

Among the seven Kashmiris, four are PhD scholars studying at Aligarh Muslim University, JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia.

Besides the seven Kashmiris who have been named in the chargesheet, Delhi Police have also named Shehla Rasheed, the former JNU Students Union Vice President and a Kashmiri among the list of 36 suspects against whom sufficient evidence could not be produced. As the Delhi police finished its probe on January 11, the students who were named in the chargesheet are likely to face arrests.