The three Kashmiri students belonging to an engineering college in Hubballi were arrested over a viral video where they allegedly spoke in favour of Pakistan.

Hubballi Bar Association refuses to represent 3 Kashmiri students booked for sedition@ZafarAafaq/Twitter
news Law Monday, February 17, 2020 - 15:50

Members of the Bar Association in Hubballi passed a resolution to not represent the three Kashmiri students, who were booked for sedition. Labelling their actions “anti-national”, the resolution added that their decision has been communicated with the Karnataka State Bar Council and urged all lawyers in the state not to represent them.

The three Kashmiri students, belonging to an engineering college in Hubballi, were arrested on Saturday over a viral video where they allegedly spoke in favour of Pakistan. The video showed the three of them shouting " Azaadi”, "Pakistan" and "Zindabad" which was punctuated by a song playing in the background. The song was purportedly made by the Pakistani military’s propaganda wing. The arrests were made after activists of the Bajrang Dal and Akhil Bharat Vidhyarti Parishad (ABVP) staged a protest outside the college and demanded they be handed over to the police. 

Meanwhile, the three students have been remanded in judicial custody till March 2. The students were also attacked allegedly by Bajrang Dal activists outside the court premises on Monday.

The Hubballi Bar Association’s move mirrors what the Mysuru Bar Association had done in January. The members of Mysuru Bar Association had resolved to "not represent or provide legal services” to Nalini Balakumar, an alumnus of Mysuru University. Nalini was booked for sedition for holding a “Free Kashmir” placard during an anti NRC-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protest.

However, at the time, lawyers from Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka slammed the Mysuru Bar Association’s move.

A statement put out by a collective of lawyers read, “We, the undersigned lawyers, strongly condemn such decisions of the Association as not only being against professional ethics and the duties of lawyers under the Bar Council of India Rules, but also as being antithetical to the values embedded in the Constitution of India. Every person has the fundamental right to be represented in a Court of law and any attempt to prevent or subvert such right is a blatant attack on the ideals of the Constitution.” 

Nalini was granted bail by a Mysuru court on January 27.

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