A Hubballi court on Monday extended the judicial custody of three Kashmiri students who were arrested for sedition, till March 7. The students of the KLE Institute of Technology, who were arrested on February 15 for allegedly saying Pakistan Zindabad, will continue to be lodged at the Belagavi district jail, as the police cited safety concerns.
Nasir Khuehami, the spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association, confirmed the development.
The three students were arrested after a Bajrang Dal member approached the police over a viral video where the three students were seen singing a Pakistan army-made song. In the video, which was shot by one of them, features them shouting â€śAzadiâ€ť, â€śPakistanâ€ť and â€śZindabadâ€ť as part of the chorus.
The case had also seen many controversies surrounding the case. For one, the accused were accosted by members of pro-Hindu outfits when they were being produced in the court on February 19. Following this, the police had registered a suo motu case against the members of right-wing outfits.
Later, the Hubballi Bar Association passed a resolution asking its members and other lawyers in the state not to represent the three students in a court of law and assist in their bail plea.
However, the resolution had to be withdrawn after the Karnataka High Court rebuked them for carrying out a â€śmini-trialâ€ť by themselves. Terming it a â€śdisgraceâ€ť caused to the legal community at large, Chief Justice AS Oka remarked that the resolution went against the Constitution and also professional ethics. The High Court ordered the Hubbali Police Commissioner to give police protection to the lawyers who were willing to represent the students.
The High Court also took strong exception to the fact that the lawyers from Bengaluru, who had appeared for the three students, were heckled and attacked by lawyers belonging to the Dharwad Advocates Association, including its president. Even stones were pelted at the car in which the lawyers from Bengaluru had come to the court.