Indian police drop sedition charges against cricket fans for cheering Pakistan team

  • Indian police drop sedition charges against cricket fans for cheering Pakistan team

Indian police drop sedition charges against cricket fans for cheering Pakistan team

Passion between the two countries' cricket fans runs high, particularly during this year's Championship Trophy, which was the first time India and Pakistan played each other in a major final since 2007.

Responding to Pakistan's 338/4, the Indian batsmen crumbled under the pressure exerted by the Pakistani bowlers and the pressure of chasing a big total in a final and were bowled out for 158.

Advertising rates had shoot up to 10 times for the final and a 30 second ad slot during the final, to be broadcast by Rupert Murdoch's Star Sports, is expected to cost almost Rs 1 crore.

According to police, the suspects also allegedly raised anti-India slogans. "They all are giving me love, so now I feel that I have done some great heroics".

In a statement on Wednesday, it condemned the arrests, describing them as "another worrying sign of the erosion of freedom of expression in India".

The men belonging to Muslim community were arrested for allegedly shouting pro-Pakistan slogans, after Pakistan defeated the Indian team at Oval in London on Sunday. A video went viral in which a group of Pakistani and Indian cricket fans could be seen enjoying together while travelling in a subway train.

A majority of those arrested by the police on the sedition charge are either daily wagers or marginal farmers. It has been reported that they can still face prison time for the mere fact that they cheered for the rival side. "The sedition law has no place in a rights-respecting society, let alone one that has a proud tradition of pluralism and debate".

Explaining the reasons behind the withdrawal of the sedition charges against the youths, the SP of Burhanpur RR Parihar, as reported by the Indian Express, said that it was hard to prove the sedition charges.