The Uttar Pradesh police have dropped sedition charges against 14 Aligarh Muslim University students , citing “lack of evidence”, according to a senior police officer.
On February 12, the students were booked for sedition on the complaint of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) district president Mukesh Lodhi, who had alleged that he was assaulted by some students who also raised pro-Pakistan slogans.
The BJYM is the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the ruling party at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh. Senior superintendent of police Akash Kulhari said on Friday the charges were dropped three days ago as there was no evidence to support them.
He said there was no videographic proof or any other evidence “to support the claim that anti-India or pro-Pakistan slogans were raised by these youth during the clash between two student groups at University Circle on February 12”.
The clashes appeared to have been triggered by reports that All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi was visiting the campus. The BJYM had demanded that the Owaisi’s visit should be banned.
There was also an altercation between some AMU students and a television news channel crew that had come to cover the anticipated visit, which never took place. Earlier, the Aligarh Muslim University Teachers Association (AMUTA) had condemned the violence on the campus and sought strict restrictions on entry of outsiders to the university.