Pulwama Fallout: Bajrang Dal, VHP Men Attack Kashmiri Students in Dehradun, Elsewhere

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Bajrang Dal members protest outside an educational institution in Dehradun. — Photo: TOI

Following several reports of threats, from different states, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday issued an advisory to all states and union territories to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of Kashmiri students and residents

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NEW DELHI — Kashmiri students in some parts of the country have complained of being harassed and threatened following the terror attack in Pulwama on Thursday. At least 49 CRPF personnel lost their lives in the attack in south Kashmir.

The Kashmiri student of Dehradun has alleged on Friday that Bajrang and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), taking the excuse of Pulwama militant attack, beaten up 12 Kashmiri students studying in the city colleges.

According to the Times of India report, Kashmiri students said that the Hindu organizations’ activists also threatened several institutions in the city to expel all Kashmiri students enrolled with them.

There are over 1,000 students from Kashmir studying in various colleges of Uttarakhand. Nasir Khuehami, spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Organisation (JKSO) of Uttarakhand claimed that two of the 12 students beaten up by right-activists had to be hospitalised.

“The students were beaten up when they were returning after offering Friday prayers,” he said.

“They gave the students 24 hours to leave the state,” Nasir Khuehami said.

Vikas Verma, convenor, Bajrang Dal, when queried about the incident, did not deny the attack and said that “we will ensure that no Kashmiri Muslim studies or stays here.”
VHP’s Shyam Sharma also reported by TOI as saying, that their aim was “to teach the students a lesson so that no one can ever dream of doing what had happened in Pulwama.”

Following several reports of threats, from different states, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday issued an advisory to all states and union territories to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of Kashmiri students and residents, ANI reported.

The state police of J&K said they are in touch with authorities in Dehradun.

The Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Organisation has arranged for 20 rooms at a housing estate in Chandigarh to temporarily house students who have been threatened at their universities or evicted by their landlords, said Khawaja-Itrat, a final-year mechanical engineering student in the city.

The organisation first set up a helpline on Friday, following which more than 800 students and their families called on it for help, Khuehami said. Most of the callers were from different colleges affiliated to the Garhwal University in Uttarakhand. The Dehradun police are helping the students and will direct them to the shelter in Chandigarh, where “the atmosphere is better”, Khuehami added.

Students at the Aligarh Muslim University are concerned, too. Sajad Subhan Rather, a former vice president of the students union, told Scroll.in that they are hearing about an uptick in harassment and violence against Muslim and Kashmiri students both in Aligarh and other districts. “We have not finalised our plans yet but we will come to Delhi to demand security for ourselves,” he said.

Some students in Haryana were also reportedly threatened. A student from Shopian studying at the MM University in Haryana’s Ambala told the Greater Kashmir that a fellow student was thrashed by a mob. “We were in the market when a group of protesters shouting anti-Kashmiri slogans beat one of us black and blue,” Amir Hussain said.

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