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Attacks on Kashmiris: Curfew relaxed for few hours in Jammu

Srinagar, Feb 18: Reports of harassment against Kashmiri students and businessmen in various states of India came to fore on Monday as well even as curfew continued in parts of Jammu for the fourth consecutive day.

The reactions are fallout of the killing of 49 CRPF personnel in a suicide bombing on highway near Lethpora on Thursday last week.


In winter capital, curfew continued for the fourth consecutive day on Monday although authorities relaxed it from 2 pm to 5 pm in areas falling under

Police Stations of Gandhi Nagar (except Police Post Nehru Park and Digiana), Channi Himmat, Sainik Colony, Trikuta Nagar and Satwari (except Police Posts of Belicharana and Gadighat).

Mobile internet services also remained suspended in Jammu.

The curfew was imposed after mobs torched dozens of vehicles and damaged several others carrying Kashmir based registration numbers.

Meanwhile, two more Kashmiri students have been arrested in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district for their alleged “anti-national” activities.

Pirzada Tawish Fayaz and Aakib Rasool of Jammu and Kashmir were arrested Sunday night for their alleged involvement in “anti-national” activities,

Himachal Pradesh Police spokesperson and Superintendent of Police (law and order) Khushhal Sharma said.

They were studying at the Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Nauni of Solan district, popularly known as the Nauni University.

Sharma said that they were arrested on the basis of a complaint from one Neeraj Bhardwaj of Ber village in Solan.

In his complaint, Bhardwaj alleged that Fayaz had posted anti-national comments on his Facebook page, the SP said.

A few comments had also been attached with the complaint, the police official said.

The complainant further alleged that both Fayaz and Rasool were involved in anti-national activities and were supporting Pakistan in India’s fight against militancy, the SP added.

Bhardwaj said he had come to know about the duo’s “anti-national” activities through his friend Vipul Sharma who is also a student of the Nauni university.

Subsequently, they were arrested and a First Information Report (FIR) under Indian Penal Code sections 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) was registered against them at Sadar police station in Solan, he said.

The matter is under investigation, the SP said.

More than 300 Kashmiri students on their way to Kashmir had reached Mohali from Uttarakhand and Haryana on Monday, a student body arranging

their stay in the Punjab town said on Monday.
Over the past two days, nearly 280 students have arrived from Dehradun and up to 30 from Haryana’s Ambala district, said Jammu and Kashmir

Students Organisation president Khwaja Itrat.

He said nearly 150 of the total students have moved towards Jammu, from where they will head to their homes in the Kashmir Valley.

“The students told us they wanted to make a halt in Mohali as it was a safer place. We helped them arrange a temporary stay here,” Itrat said.

“Authorities here are cooperating and helping us out. It is a crucial time for many students with final examinations approaching and loss of studies at this time will impact their grades. But the students want the issue to settle down and then they will decide to return,” he said.

In Dehradun, two colleges said they will not give new admissions to Kashmiri students from the next session.

The fear and open threats also prompted several Kashmiri students to temporarily leave the city, The Indian Express reported.

The report said in an “undertaking” to the students’ union of the Dehradun-based DAV PG College, Dr Aslam Siddiqui, principal of Baba Farid

Institute of Technology (BFIT), wrote: “Students’ Union president, we assure you that if any Kashmiri student is found engaged in any anti-national activity, then the student will be expelled from the institute.”

Earlier, the student union along with members of the ABVP, VHP, and Bajrang Dal, had led the protests outside colleges on Friday.
“No new Kashmiri student will be admitted in the upcoming session),” the letter further said.

In Punjab, two Kashmiri students have been suspended for allegedly posting objectionable posts on social media.

Two Kashmiris working in Gurugram (formerly Gurgaon in NCR Delhi) were asked to vacate their rented apartments by their landlord.
“Yesterday, our landlord said we will not be allowed to stay because of the community we belong to,” he said wishing anonymity.

He said, “The landlord warned us he won’t be held responsible if anything happens so we should vacate the flat at the earliest,” adding the landlords in the vicinity had a meeting on Sunday with Sarpanchs of different areas.

In a similar incident, a Kashmiri business man residing in the Madgaon locality of Goa was also asked to leave his lodgings.

“I’ve been working here from the last eight years and never faced a situation like this. This is not to deny that violence against Kashmiris has assumed alarming proportions across the country,” he said wishing not be named.

“The state government should make concrete efforts to ensure the safety of Kashmiris. Political parties should ask their cadres to propagate communal harmony,” he said.

In another shocking incident, a Kashmiri cardiologist was threatened and told to leave the city to ensure the safety of his family. The middle-aged doctor from Srinagar has been residing in Kolkata since 2007.

“I have made this my home and I want to live here,” Dar was quoted by a National daily.

On Saturday morning, a group of men encircled him at his doorstep and told him they would “destroy” his family if he did not leave for Kashmir in 24 hours. The men, unarmed and in their 20s, abused him and Kashmiris, for the Pulwama attack. A similar incident took place on Friday evening.

“They repeatedly said that they would harm my family and wife,” Dar said.

In touch with colleges to ensure safety of Kashmiri students: Govt

Jammu, Feb 18: The J&K Government Monday said that its Liaison Officers in various states are in constant touch with local administrations and college authorities to ensure that the students from J&K are not put to any inconvenience.
“The state administration is advising all the students and their parents, not to pay heed to any rumors, try to stay put at their respective places and contact the LOs or local police administration for any help. The mobile numbers of LOs have already been distributed amongst the students,” a state Government spokesman said.
He said in the aftermath of Lethpora incident, there have been certain reports of harassment of students from J&K studying outside the state.
The spokesman said that the J&K Government has already appointed Liaison Officers at 6 regions the country including Delhi NCR- Meerut, Jaipur – Bhopal, Chandigarh, Aligarh, Bengaluru, Pune in order to coordinate with the students of J&K studying in and around these regions.
The students in these regions have been advised to get in touch with these LOs in case they face any problem. These LOs are supposed to coordinate with respective college authorities and local administration in case there is any issue to be resolved.
Since these LOs have already been in place for last 3 months, so all of them have already circulated their respective contact numbers to the students and colleges of these regions and some of them have already met many of the college authorities also for building better coordination.
There have been media reports of alleged mischievous WhatsApp chats by some of the miscreants, reports of candle marches and other marches in these regions by the local people, alleged rumors of some of landlords asking their respective tenant students to vacate the houses, resulting in a sense of insecurity and fear in the students.
Responding to this, the LOs of respective regions have been taking necessary steps in the last two days to help the students. Similarly, controlrooms/helplines have also been established in the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir. The LOs immediately got in touch with the students, the college authorities and the local administration so as to ensure safety and security of the students.
Some of the incidents handled by LOs include, one at Maharaishi Narkendeshwar Mullana University, Ambala, where 104 students who were staying in PG locations have been accommodated in 3 hostels of University and these hostels are well guarded by the police as confirmed by local SHO.
This region is being coordinated by LO Chandigarh. Another incident handled by LO – Chandigarh has been of Ganpati Institute – Bilaspur. There the Director of the Institute has been spoken to and he has assured full safety and police protection for hostels there.
Further there have been lot of calls from Dehradun students, for whom the coordination is being done by LO-Delhi NCR. There have been numerous calls from students of different colleges including Baba Farid Institute of Tech, Alpine Institute, Dolphin Institute, SBS Medical College and so on so forth. Regarding Baba Farid Institute, the LO has been assured by the College Administration and SHO – PS Premnagar, that no untoward incident has happened so far and the situation is normal. The college authorities have assured that in case, the outside students are facing any problem they can be accommodated temporarily in their respective hostels.
Some of the students from Dehradun have reached Delhi yesterday evening and they have been accommodated in J&K House Chanakyapuri.
Further around 100 students from Sailakui (Dehradun) have gathered in Rampur. A visit by SHO and CO has been arranged at the place and further both of them assured their safety and security at that place.
Further LO- Jaipur has confirmed that the situation in Pacific University Udaipur is calm and safe. The students have been advised not venture out of the campus. The Police Commissioner and SP has visited the campus.
The State Administration assures people of J&K that, due cognizance is being taken for each and every call from the students and their parents and local administration is being apprised of the developing situation. The local administration and college authorities of all the locations have given full assurance of complete support, help and safety of the students.