30 students in India's Kerala state booked for waving 'Pakistan' flag

At least 30 college students in India’s Kerala state have been booked by police for “allegedly waving a flag resembling that of Pakistan inside their campus”, media reported.

The incident occurred in Silver College, Perambra in Kozhikode district of Kerala.

As part of union election campaigning, students belonging to the Muslim Student Front (MSF) were carrying out a procession which included waving a large green and white flag similar to that of Pakistan.

Students claimed that they had waved the MSF flag but its large size had caused confusion, according to media.

The students have been booked under Sections 143 (whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months or fine), 147 (punishment for rioting), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly can be guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code.

Police are investigating the identity of the students and “will take necessary action”, the media report said.

According to India Today, police have found nothing suspicious so far while investigating the background of the students in question.

“We have enquired about the background of the students involved in this, as of now there isn’t anything suspicious or alarming about their past. The students claim that the mistake happened while printing the flag, anyway we are verifying the facts,” the Peramabara CI told India media.

The Indian publication said that a member of the student organisation attributed the mishap to a printing error as well as negligence in not spotting it.

“They [students] did not properly inspect the flag after printing. Our flag has two equal halves of white and green with MSF marked at the white portion. But this flag was out of proportion making it look similar to the Pakistani flag,” he said.