Express News Service

SRINAGAR:  The families of three Kashmiri youth arrested in Agra for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s win over India in a T20 cricket match have appealed to the UP government to forgive and release the trio.

Showkat Ahmed Ganai, Arshad Yusuf and Inayat Altaf, the arrested trio, are students of Raja Balwant Singh College in Agra and study in the college under the PM Special Scholarship Scheme.

Mohammad Shaban Ganai said his son Showkat was in final year of his B.Tech course.

“He was arrested after the India-Pakistan match and lodged at the Agra central jail. We don’t know what has happened. If our sons have committed anything wrong, we apologise to authorities on their behalf. We urge the government to release them so that their career is not ruined,” he said.

Showkat’s mother also requested for her son’s release.

“I plead to authorities with folded hands that Showkat and the two other arrested students be released. I apologise to the government on their behalf.” 

While Showkat is from Bandipora district, Yusuf and Altaf are from Budgam district.

The widowed mother of Yusuf said the family was very poor.

“He is our last hope of livelihood. We apologise to authorities on his behalf and urge them to release him,” the distraught mother said, adding that she doesn’t have resource to reach Agra for meeting her son.

“We appeal the government to intervene on humanitarian grounds and release Yusuf and the two students.”

Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also came out in support of the three students.

“The college authorities have given these students a clean chit & confirmed they didn’t shout any slogans. Rather than taking the college assurance at face value, the UP police is victimising these poor kids,” he tweeted.

The People Conference said punitive actions and harsh measures would further alienate young Kashmiris and would neither help reduce the ‘dil ki doori’ nor create an environment of trust and friendship.