After universities shut doors across country: Kashmiri students left to fend for themselves

Srinagar, Mar 22: When the entire country was observing Janta Curfew, 32-year-old Aasif Iqbal along with his friends was busy looking for transport to return home in Bandipora.

Pursuing a Ph.D. in Punjab, he had to spend a night under the open sky in Jammu after the university administration shut hostel. It was after a four-hour-long struggle that he along with his friends managed to get a cab for Bandipora.

“Our university hostel was shut by the administration and we had no other choice but to return home.  We traveled from Mandi-Gobindgarh to Amritsar and later to Jammu,” he said.

Given the coronavirus scare, universities and colleges across India have been closed down. Scores of Kashmiri students have been stranded either in Jammu or other states given the restrictions.

Iqbal said around 100 students are stranded in Jammu and other parts of India currently. “Only a few cabs left for Srinagar on Sunday. Most of the students cramped just to reach home. When transport is limited, cab owners start overcharging. Many students are running out of cash,” he said.

Mukhtar Ahmad, another student who is pursuing B Tech in Punjab said the vulnerability of contracting the infection is very high under such circumstances .

“Jammu is already a coronavirus-hit region. Under these circumstances how can we manage social distance?” he asked.

Musaib Hussain, another Kashmiri student said for the last three days he along with his group of five friends is unable to find transport from Rajouri to Shopian.

“We have been planning to leave home for the last two days but couldn’t because of the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

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Self-help believer, a gadget lover and nature's admirer.
Presently Senior reporter at The Kashmir Monitor with an experience of nine years in reporting business, crime, defense, politics and environment.Have also contributed to reputed media organizations including First Post, India Spend, Forbes India

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