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Kashmiri students allege thrashing, harassment in Haryana, Bhopal

Two incidents, one of “thrashing” and another of “harassment”, against Kashmiri students in Haryana and Bhopal have come to the fore in the past 24 hours. The J&K police have taken up the matter with their counterparts.

Two students hailing from Kashmir were allegedly thrashed by a mob of 10-15 unidentified people in Haryana's Mahendergarh town on Friday.

While the motive of the assault is still not clear, the Police has registered a case and set-up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the alleged attack on the two students.

Both Kashmiri youth, studying at the Central University of Haryana in Mahendergarh were returning to the campus after Friday prayers, when they were allegedly attacked near Masani chowk of the town. The students have reportedly suffered bruises on face, arms and legs in the attack, which they claim was unprovoked.

“A case has been registered and we have set-up a SIT under Inspector General of Police C.S. Roy to probe the incident. We are confident that the accused would be soon identified and necessary action would be taken against those involved in the incident,” Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) B.S. Sandhu, told The Hindu.

Police has registered the case under section 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntary causing hurt) of the India Penal Code in the Mahendergarh police station.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti reacted sharply on the incident and demanded strict action by Haryana government. “Shocked & disturbed to hear reports of Kashmiri students being assaulted in Mahendargarh, Hryana. I urge the authorities to investigate & take strict action,” she tweeted while tagging Haryana Chief Minister Manihar Lal Khattar.

Later, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Shesh Pal Vaid, tweeted “In touch with DGP Haryana. Police is taking cognisance of the incident.”

Students harassed in a Delhi-bound train

In a separate incident, students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Science and Technology (SKUAST) alleged they were harassed by a co-passenger on a train and later by the police in Bhopal.

According to a group of 24 students, including 17 women, who were on a three-month training course in Bhopal, they boarded a train from Bhopal on January 31 and were questioned by a woman “why Kashmiris in such a large number were travelling in the train.”

They alleged that the woman clicked a photograph of their five kg gas cylinder. “She tweeted the photograph with a caption ‘Dozens of Kashmiris carrying a bomb in Delhi-bound Bhopal train,” they alleged.

The students alleged the policemen from the Habib Gunj Police Station “paraded and photographed them.” One student, Muhammad Idress of South Kashmir’s Anantnag, was produced before a court and sent to judicial custody.

“We have already dispatched a four-member team to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. They will raise this issue with Ministry for Home Affairs as well as Union Agriculture Ministry. We have even brought the issue into the notice of the Chief Minister and Additional Director General of Police Muneer Khan,” SKUAST vice-chancellor Professor Nazir Ahmed told a news agency, CNS, in Srinagar.

National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah tweeted both the incidents. “This is terrible and goes against the spirit of what Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji said from the ramparts of the Red Fort. I hope the authorities in Haryana act quickly against this violence.”

On the Bhopal incident, Mr. Abdullah wrote: “This hyper-nationalism built around the propaganda that all Kashmiris are terrorists and stone pelters will drive young Kashmiris further away from the national mainstream”.

Meanwhile, the incidents of harassment were raised inside J&K Assembly by opposition parties, including NC.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 4:16:46 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/two-kashmiri-youth-allegedly-attacked-by-mob-in-haryana/article22641801.ece