Punjab Students Union protest against ‘harassment, profiling’ of Kashmiri students in Indian universities

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Srinagar: The Punjab Students’ Union Tuesday protested in various districts of Punjab against the ‘harassment’ of Kashmiri students that have taken place recently in different universities across India.

In a statement, the State President Rajinder Singh, General Secretary Karamjit Kotkapura and Press Secretary Mangaljit said that the arresting of Kashmiri students in Punjab, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Rajasthan under the different charges including sedition were not acceptable.

Earlier, AMU had alleged that a few Kashmiri students had performed ‘absentia’ prayers for scholar-turned-militant Manan Wani and had charged them with sedition, suspension following the news.

The Union expressed their concerns regarding the Punjab government’s ‘profiling’ of non-Punjab students, especially Kashmiri students. They claimed that ‘the Indian state was trying to show Kashmiri students as terrorists and that detaining them and beating them up were against human rights’.

They said that the reason why Kashmiri students had left Punjab was because they were ‘living in fear’. The Union also criticized the Modi led government for increasing their vote bank ‘on the basis of communal activities’ and for ‘trying to spread the hate between one state and the other, one religion and the other in the whole country’.

Referring to the migration after Gujarat rapes and the recent outcry following the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in Assam, the PSU said that all these events were happening in lieu of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In conclusion, the PSU demanded that the harassment, brutal assault and the profiling of Kashmiri students be ceased, adding that such activities ‘deepens their desire for freedom’.

Earlier, AMU had alleged that a few Kashmiri students had performed ‘absentia’ prayers for slain scholar-turned-militant Manan Wani, who had been a former student of the university, and suspended them following the news. Seven others had been served show cause notices and two students had been slapped with sedition charges.

However, the students denied that they had gathered to offer funeral prayers for Wani.

Later, 1,200 Kashmiri students, currently studying at AMU, threatened to quit the veracity. Support and solidarity also came from other academic institutions.

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students expressed serious concern over the targeting of their counterparts and condemned the initiation sedation charges against some of them.

In another case of solidarity, the students of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) expressed anguish over the colonial charges levelled against Kashmiri students on “fabricated” issues at AMU.

Kashmiri students of the Aligarh Muslim University, in a statement said that the ‘circumstances of fear at AMU are increasing as we are told that more students are being named and framed with fake charges.’

“The sedition and other relevant charges against two Kashmiri scholars have not been withdrawn, and administration is creating more fear among the students,” the statement said which has been circulated through the Vice President of the Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union Sajad Subhan Rather.

Meanwhile, talking to the Free Press Kashmir, one of the students charged with sedition, Abdul Haseeb Mir had said that the University is becoming subservient and is acting against its own students.

In the aftermath, PDP President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had asked the Government of India to intervene and revoke sedition cases slapped against the students of Aligarh Muslim University.

In a tweet, Mehbooba had said that to punish the students for ‘remembering their former colleague who was a victim of relentless violence in Kashmir would be a travesty.’ She added that pushing youth to the wall will be counter productive.

Earlier, Mufti had said that Mannan’s death was ‘entirely our loss’.

The JK Governor had spoken to Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar seeking his intervention to ensure smooth studies of the Kashmiri students at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).


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