Kashmiri students bear the brunt of post-Pulwama backlash

PTI

  • In the wake of the suicide attack in Pulwama last week, Kashmiri students are being forced to leave their colleges and return home out of fear for their lives.
  • On Sunday, 20 female Kashmiri students were forced to barricade themselves in a hostel in Dehradun, the state capital of Uttarakhand, as a mob raged outside.
  • There were also reports of Kashmiri students in Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra being assaulted as police forces received distress calls in these states.
In the wake of the suicide attack in Pulwama last week, wherein 45 Indian soldiers were killed, it seems that students from Jammu & Kashmir who are studying across different parts of North India have become an unlikely target of the anti-militant backlash.

As a result, they’re being forced to leave their colleges and return home out of fear for their lives.

On Sunday, 20 female Kashmiri students were forced to barricade themselves in a hostel in Dehradun, the state capital of Uttarakhand, as a mob raged outside. The mob reportedly claimed that the students had declared pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans - a claim they denied.

There were also reports of Kashmiri students in Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra being assaulted as police forces received distress calls in these states. Some students were also booked for reportedly “celebrating” the attack on social media. Meanwhile, at Aligarh Muslim University, Kashmiri students have been issued directions to “not leave campus”.

To make matters worse, two colleges in Dehradun even issued a decree temporarily banning the admission of students from Jammu & Kashmir, citing safety concerns amid aggressive protests from student unions allied with the RSS like the ABVP, VHP and Bajrang Dal.

In fact, in order to placate the student mob, which numbered in the hundreds, the head of the Baba Farid Institute of Technology, Dr Aslam Siddiqui, said that any students engaging in “anti-national” activities would be expelled and that no Kashmiri students would be admitted in the next academic session. The same stance was taken by S K Chauhan, the head of Dehradun’s Alpine College of Management and Technology.

The day before, on Saturday, the Delhi Commission for Minorities, a minority rights panel, reportedly said that the local protests in the wake of the Pulwama attack were being co-opted by Hindutva groups to target Kashmiris and Muslims.

In response to these attacks, the Jammu & Kashmir government has directed its liaison officers, which are stationed throughout the country, to work with local authorities to ensure the safety of Kashmiri students.

SEE ALSO:

Four soldiers killed in Pulwama during encounter between Indian security forces and militants: Report

Pakistan denies hand in Pulwama attack claimed by a terror outfit based there

India vows an ‘unforgettable lesson’ for the terrorists who killed 42 troopers
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