“Unity of India not made of bamboo reed”: Allahabad HC while granting bail to Kashmiri students

In an order granting bail to the three Kashmiri students held in Uttar Pradesh on sedition charges for celebrating Pakistan’s victory during the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match last year, the Allahabad High Court stated that the country’s foundations are “more enduring” and the unity of India is “not made of bamboo reeds.”

“The unity of India is not made of bamboo reeds which will bend to the passing winds of empty slogans. The foundations of our nation are more enduring,” reads the bail order.

Kashmiri students, Arsheed Yusuf, Inayat Altaf Sheikh and Showkat Ahmed Ganai have spent the past five months in the Agra District Jail, after they were arrested on 26 October for comments made following Pakistan’s victory over India.

The three were studying at an Agra engineering college under the PM Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS).

The trio were booked by Uttar Pradesh Police booked under IPC sections 121 (A) (sedition) 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (1)(B) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public), and 66-F (cyber terrorism, an offence that could lead to a life sentence) of the Information Technology Act.

In his order, Judge Ajay Bhanot said: “Eternal ideals bind the indestructible unity of India. Constitutional values create an indissoluble union of India. Every citizen of the country is the custodian, and the State is the sentinel of the unity of India and the constitutional values of the nation”.

The court quoted three lines from poet Alama Iqbal’s song ‘Saare Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Hamara’ to stress the “constancy of Indian values and perpetuity of Indian people”.

“The Court is entertaining the bail application directly. There are exceptional circumstances for doing so. It is informed that the Agra District Bar Association had passed a resolution for not providing any legal assistance to the applicants. The applicants were also assaulted in the District Court at Agra.”