A case has been registered against three Kashmiri students for allegedly failing to stand up for the national anthem at a cinema theatre here Saturday evening. The three were released on bail on Sunday, after spending a night at the police station. A case under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, has been registered at the Rajendra Nagar police station under Cyberabad Police Commissionerate, against the three students of Al Habib Engineering College.
The three had gone to watch Bareilly Ki Barfi at Mantra Mall at Upparpally, when they allegedly refused to stand up when the national anthem was played before the movie. The students, however, told police they had entered the theatre late and were disoriented in the dark and still trying to settle down in their seats when the anthem started. They failed to immediately react, and were prodded by someone behind them to stand up, which they did, they said.
According to the students, after the national anthem ended, a man sitting behind them asked them their names and where they were from. They also told police they suspected the man was a senior police officer who informed local police about them. However, Inspector V Umender of Rajendra Nagar police station denied this, saying several people had complained against the three to the cinema hall manager, who lodged a written complaint at 9 pm.
“We detained the three youths, gave them a notice and released them. We have taken statements from the theatre manager as well as the three boys. Once investigation is over, we will file a chargesheet. The boys claimed they were unaware the anthem had started, but the theatre manager stated that they were reluctant to stand up although several people around them indicated they should. They stood up very reluctantly towards the end of the anthem, it seems,” the inspector said.