“FREE KASHMIR” PLACARDS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MYSORE3 min read

By: Subikshini.I

INTRODUCTION:

Nalini Balakumar, an alumna of the University of Mysore, during her protest on the campus called by Dalit Students’ Association and Mysore University Research Students Association to condemn the attack undertook against JNU students, was grilled for about seven hours by police on Saturday. The police took a suo-moto case against the organizers of the protest and Nandini for using a placard with ‘Free Kashmir’ written on it and booking them for sedition under IPC section 124A and section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) in Jayalakshmipuram Station.

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BACKGROUND:

Nalini of Tamil Nadu, who did her Masters in Journalism from the University of Mysore. She was identified holding placard during protests through videos and questioned by the police regarding this event on Saturday.

On Friday, Nalini released a video apologising to the department of police and the public for creating confusion by the poster that was held by her in the protest. She said she was only highlighting the issue of internet shutdown in Kashmir for the past five months and would cooperate with the police in the investigation and would appear before them whenever needed by them. She also stated that she was not affiliated to any organisation and she was a simple person who is interested in the functioning of the country and she never intended to cause any kind of hatred. On the same day, she also secured interim conditional bail from the City Court after putting forth her plea.



She arrived at the police station around 11 am on Saturday, to record her statement, accompanied by her father. A team of senior officials, including Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivashankar, were present and questioned her. They also recorded her statement and the process was concluded only around 6 pm.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Mutthuraju, who visited the police station that afternoon, refused to speak to the media persons on the issue and about the enquiry that took place. 

The police source said that she was asked about 80 questions and she was further questioned about her affiliation with any of the organizations. She was further interrogated as to who invited her to the protest and why her mobile phone was switched off and all her social media account was deactivated after the protest.

Nalini declined to give any statement to the media when she visited the police station. However, she made her point through her video which was released the previous day.

The city police also registered a suo-moto FIR over the protest, issued notices to students’ forums which had organised the vigil. A few organization’s members, who received notices, also recorded their statements before the police.

RESOLUTION BY THE BAR COUNCIL:

The Mysuru Bar Association has issued a statement saying that it will not represent the woman those who had raised ‘Free Kashmir’ placard at a protest held in University of Mysore on 8 January, according to president S Anand Kumar on Wednesday.

Nalini Balakumar’s last counsel had reportedly withdrawn from the case, citing personal reasons for the withdrawal.

People have released their concern regarding this action by the bar association and said that this kind of bar association is a blot on the lawyers’ community and the constitution. This action by the Mysore bar was considered a shame by few advocates. The use of ‘Free Kashmir’ placards at the University of Mysore has made a sound approach about the atrocities of the Kashmiri’s but also at the same time has gained attention towards the misinterpretation of ideas.

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