‘I took the Indian flag, crossed protesting crowd to remain safe’
‘If the Kashmiris living here are not kicked out by landlords, we consider him to be a traitor’
Srinagar: After 49 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in a suicide attack claimed by militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad, Kashmiris employed and studying outside the valley are facing the brunt.
Many students have been rusticated on the basis of their alleged posts regarding the Pulwama attack on social media.
After the attack on February 14, #IndiaWantsRevenge started trending on the social media platforms. While Indian Netizens ask the government to completely isolate Pakistan on the global front, hate messages against Kashmiris also started spreading.
The on-ground situation in Jammu, according to the students is not as hateful as the messages they are receiving via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Responding to the anti-Kashmiri posts, the Kashmiri students away from home posted their thoughts online. Hours later, they say, they received an official rustication letter from their educational institutions.
The students are receiving threats from various profiles online. The shared screenshots of the messages Kashmiri students are absurd and sickening. The messages not only abuse them but their mothers and sisters as well. “And we are not supposed to react even online. If we do, we get a termination letter and we are tagged as being anti-national,” says a Kashmiri student.
Dev Bhoomi Institute of Management Studies affiliated with Uttarakhand Technical University, Dehradun’s Registrar has sent a letter to the parents of one of their student Syed Mohd. Qasim.
The letter reads, “It is to inform you that your ward… has been rusticated from the college w.e.f 15-02-2019 on account of indiscipline activities. Hence, the discipline committee of college has decided to rusticate your ward from the college with immediate effect. This is for your information & necessary action.”
Meanwhile, a man in an audio clip said to be from Chandigarh can be heard raising anti-Pakistan slogans and saying, “In 24 hours, if the Kashmiris living here are not kicked out by landlords, we will hold sit-in protest outside that home. He will be considered a traitor to the village and the nation.”
According to students in Jammu, they are not allowed to step outside the hostel. They say people are protesting and agitating against Kashmiris. However, at the same time, their non-Kashmiri Hindu friends are helping and supporting them in tough times.
While on social media, the students studying outside are receiving threats and abusive messages, various Kashmiri students from Jammu told Free Press Kashmir over telephone that they were many times rescued by Hindu friends when the mob was going hay-wire, despite the imposition of curfew.
“I was in Janipur. I wasn’t feeling safe there. I thought about going to my aunt’s place. A Hindu friend helped me. I took the Indian Flag in my hand and we crossed the crowd protesting,” says another Kashmiri student.
“We are under hostel-arrest. We are not allowed to even go the ground downstairs. Yesterday morning, many people came to the boy’s hostel and protested. It felt more like they were pushing for more people to participate,” says another SKAUST Kashmiri student studying in Jammu.
“No one went out. They protested and burnt puppets. They raised flags everywhere. Since then the hostel, as well as the college gates, are shut. No movement inside or outside is allowed,” the student says.
“I could hear students talking against Kashmiris and the incident that happened in Pulwama. I chose to remain silent and went back to my room. On the other hand, many students here are staying with me, telling me they will not let anything happen to me,” says a female student studying there.
In Delhi, amid protests, in certain areas, the movement is very little as compared to normal days.
“We are feeling the hatred in the air. When we go to the market, we can see them looking at us. Normally, it doesn’t happen here,” says a Kashmiri student residing in Delhi.