Sedition penalty in India for celebrating defeat to Pakistan

The Historic enmity between India and Pakistan has been taken to a new level with arrests and serious charges of sedition after some Indians, mostly Muslims, celebrated the Indian defeat in a world cricket match against arch-enemy Pakistani team.. “Those who celebrate the victory of Pakistan will be accused of sedition,” the office of the head of government of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu monk who always wears the sacred color saffron, said on Twitter on Thursday. Adityanath accompanied the message with an article in a local newspaper reporting several arrests in Uttar Pradesh for cyberterrorism and promoting religious enmity, after slogans against India and pro Pakistan were reportedly shouted.

Between whats arrested there are six Muslims, three of them from Kashmir, the only Indian region with a Muslim majority and that India and Pakistan have been fighting since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, for which they have fought several wars and other minor conflicts. The detainees had celebrated Pakistan’s unexpected victory on Sunday in a T20 World Cup match in Dubai. Most of the arrests occurred in Uttar Pradesh, although the Western Rajasthan Police also confirmed the brief arrest of a Muslim teacher for writing on her WhatsApp status, in Hindi and English: “We won.”

According They collect local media, the teacher lost her job after the screenshot with the message went viral. The woman assured, however, that everything had been a joke between the members of her family, that the teams had been distributed. “I never meant to say that I was supporting Pakistan over India (…) I later realized it was wrong and removed the state immediately. I am Indian and I love India as much as you do. I apologize,” she said in a video message.

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Some Kashmiri students in the northern state of Punjab also denounced attacks by Hindu radicals, even without any celebrations involved. Political tensions between the two countries after a cricket match are not new. On this occasion, the only Muslim player on the Indian team, Mohammed Shami, who was accused on social media of facilitating the Pakistani victory and of being a traitor, was even sought as a scapegoat. The cricket world backed him up. “We support him. He is a champion and whoever wears the Indian cap has India in his heart much more than any online mob. We are with you Shami,” tweeted former player Virender Shewag.

In the disputed region of Kashmir, where there is strong independence sentiment, Pakistan’s victory on Sunday was lived with great fervor, with numerous groups taking to the streets to celebrate the result with the explosion of firecrackers. Given this, the Kashmiri police filed several complaints under a draconian anti-terrorism law against unknown persons in two medical schools, after videos of pro-Pakistani cheers were heard viral.

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