Mobs threaten Kashmiris in several states

The terrified students are demanding their safety and urged the J&K state administration to come to their rescue.

SYED RIZWAN GEELANI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 17 2019 1:27AM | Updated Date: Feb 17 2019 1:27AM
Mobs threaten Kashmiris in several statesBajrang Dal members protest outside an educational institution in Dehradun

Kashmiri students studying in universities and colleges outside the Valley Saturday made passionate appeals for help through social media following their intimidation and harassment from mobs in the wake of a militant attack that left more than 40 central reserve police force personnel dead two days ago.

The students in Haryana and Dehradun were threatened to vacate their rented accommodations and return to Kashmir, leaving them frightened. Kashmiri girls studying at the Dolphin institute of biomedical and natural science in Dehradun said a mob assembled outside their hostel and threatened them to leave.

“Please save us from these goons. They are threatening us to vacate the hostels. If we will go outside our rooms, we will be attacked as they have surrounded our hostel,” said a distressed student.

The students had locked themselves in their rooms fearing mob attacks.

“They barged inside hostel premises and are asking for Kashmiri girls,” the student said.

Senior superintendent of police Dehradun, Nivedita said a police party was sent to the spot to chase away the mob.

“The situation was brought under control. All boys and girls are safe in the university hostels,” the SSP said.

The frightened female students, however, said they were feeling insecure at the hostel and urged the governor’s administration to ensure their safety until the situation limps back to normalcy in Dehradun. “The mobs have been taken away from the hostel premises but are staging protests outside. We are feeling scared here,” the students said. Meanwhile, more than 200 Kashmiri students studying in Haryana told Greater Kashmir that they were thrown out of their rented accommodations and have now taken refuge at a university hostel. “The locals made announcements on public address systems and threatened us to vacate our accommodations,” said a student.

The terrified students are demanding their safety and urged the J&K state administration to come to their rescue.

A police official coordinating a helpline set up for the Kashmiri students said the police are continuously in touch with Kashmiri students and their university officials.

“We will ensure that they are not harmed in any case,” he said.

Another group of Kashmiri students Saturday said they were forced to vacate from their rented accommodations in Dehradun following tension over the Pulwama attack.

The students told Greater Kashmir that the situation was tense in Dehradun and that they were forced by the landlords to vacate their lodgings.  “Where shall we go this time? We can’t afford air tickets as the fare is very high”, the students said in an e-mail to Greater Kashmir. They said they will have to spend days and nights on roads as they don’t have any other place to take shelter in.

The students also said that Bajrang Dal and VHP activists had earlier given them an ultimatum of 24 hours to leave Dehradun.

“Earlier some students were beaten in their hostel rooms and rented accommodation as well. We are not feeling safe here at all. We appeal to our state police to come to our rescue,” the students said.

When contacted, station house officer Premnagar, Dehradun, Dilawar Singh Negi said no landlord will be allowed to force any Kashmiri student out of his accommodation.

“If any landlord forces the students they should call me on 09411112188. I promise that no student will be forced to leave,” Negi said.

Some students have established a helpline for fellow Kashmiri students who were beaten up in Dehradun and forced to vacate their accommodations.

 “We have set up a location in Chandigarh to give shelter to those students who were beaten up and harassed by Bajrang Dal and VHP activists and were shunted out by their landlords and refused help by the college authorities. Feel free to contact me and my brother Khawaja Itrat on 9149676014 9915378749,” a student posted on Facebook.

The J&K police, however, said they have spoken to their counterparts in Dehradun following reports of harassment of Kashmiri students there.

“The Dehradun police have assured us that they are in touch with the representatives of Kashmiri boys and all necessary arrangements for the safety and security of students in Dehradun have been put in place,” a police spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Kashmiri students studying at Uttranchal PG college in Dehradun have requested the J&K police and civil administration to ensure their safe return to the Valley in view of fears and apprehensions of “possible attacks by mobs”.

Some students who spoke to Greater Kashmir over the phone said they are living in fear and want to return home.

“We have contacted many officials and politicians in Kashmir seeking their intervention and help. We are confined to our rooms and are living in constant fear,” they said, adding that “we may feel safe till the police are deployed around our campus but who will ensure our safety after that.”

Meanwhile, senior superintendent of police Ganderbal Khalil Ahmed Poswal said they are in touch with the police and students in Dehradun. (With Irfan Raina in Ganderbal)

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