Suspended and sent home by Swami Vivekanand Subharti University (SVSU) in Meerut on charges of staging a pro-Pakistan demonstration on the campus, scores of undergraduate Kashmiri students asserted on Friday that they were not only fans of Pakistani cricket players but also of all sporting icons in India and other countries.

“Some of us are indeed overenthusiastic and immature in expressions but as a community we are never the victims of a parochial mindset. It’s a fact we enjoyed the game when Pakistan scored a victory over India in a league match of Asia Cup on Sunday, but we also appreciated the performance of the great Indian bowlers and batsmen,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous.

Aijaz, one of the 67 students who reached here on Wednesday after being “thrown out” by the SVSU management, narrated how the Kashmiri students were emotionally excited over the Indian off-spinner R. Ashwin’s hat-trick in the same match. He said that every Kashmiri student was all praise for Rohit Sharma’s superb performance.

“It was only when Afridi hit two sixers that the mood changed in the hall. Some non-J&K students began vulgarly abusing Pakistani players. One of us objected to it. They got irritated and abused the Kashmiris as ‘bloody terrorists’. Thereafter, there was a scuffle, an altercation,” Mr Aijaz told The Hindu.

“Next morning, all Kashmiri students attended classes but they [outsiders] staged a dharna and forced the management to deport us. We were told we had been suspended. Each student was asked to deposit a fine of Rs. 5,000. This all without any enquiry,” he said.

“Almost all of us study there on Prime Minister’s special scholarship for J&K students. The Centre has deposited the money in full. Still the University forced us to deposit Rs. 25,000 each. It has not been released to any student.”

V-C differs

Vice-Chancellor Manzoor Ahmed did not agree. “They shouted pro-Pakistan slogans, stripped themselves and broke furniture. Our hostel warden Prof. Bansal watched this whole drama live. I have ordered a detailed inquiry, which is being conducted by a Kashmiri faculty member Prof. Geelani,” Prof. Ahmed told The Hindu.