Fake News

Fact Check: ‘No Kashmiri truck driver was beaten to death in Udhampur’

Srinagar: After news about violence on Kashmiris in Jammu, a rumour about a Kashmiri truck driver being beaten to death in Udhampur district is making rounds on social media. A video which shows an injured Kashmiri truck driver, seemingly after being assaulted, covered in blood, was shared by many ‘news’ pages.

Following the video, a rumour of a Kashmiri truck driver being beaten to death, and dying at the GMC hospital Jammu, started doing rounds.

The police and the Government Medical College Administration is calling the news fake, saying no such incident has taken place.

While speaking to Free Press Kashmir, Medical Superintendent GMC Jammu, said, “Yes, some incidents had taken place yesterday of beating up, but we do not have any such Kashmiri patient here neither did we receive any such casualty today. No patient has died here as is described.”

The man in the video is covered in blood, but the injuries do not look potentially fatal.

Calling the news of death of the driver a rumour, a police official from Udhampur told Free Press Kashmir that the overall atmosphere in Udhampur district stayed calm and no incident involving death of a Kashmiri truck driver happened.

“No death took place. Locals held protests, but there was no death. The news about death of a truck driver is fake. It is a rumour,” he said.

This follows a suicide attack claimed by Jaish e Mohammad, in which 49 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in Pulwama region of Jammu and Kashmir.

While Kashmiris working outside Jammu and Kashmir got suspension orders and termination letters, the Kashmiri government employees were attacked by a mob in Jammu, ‘while police watched as a mute spectator’.

The anti-Kashmiri sentiment is already on the rise as the traders had earlier testified to be harassed by the locals and the police in the name of verification. Following that, during the closure of National Highway, the stranded Kashmiris were attacked by stones by Jammu students accusing them of raising pro-Pakistan slogans in their college.

ALSO READ: Sikh Samaritans of Jammu: ‘We won’t let anyone harass our Kashmiri brethren’

After the attack curfew was imposed and internet services were barred in Jammu.

Despite the curfew, mobs damaged around 60 vehicles on Friday. The most volatile area in Jammu is said to be Janipur where a mob had attacked government quarters of Kashmiris serving in the Secretariat, Jammu.

Over a telephonic conversation, the terrified employees with their families in quarters told Free Press Kashmir, “we begged the police. We even touched their feet asking them to save us. But, they were running away from us. The kids and women with us were wailing and it didn’t melt their heart.”

He also said that the Chief Secretary and Additional Director General ( Law and Order) had visited them yesterday. However, after they left, the situation has worsened.

“We have not been able to leave our rooms, not to talk of going to the market and buying something to eat. I cannot explain how bad the situation is here. Almost all the Darbaar Move employees have their families with them due to winter vacations. We are not being allowed to move out and the police is unable to stop the violent mob,” he says adding the police gives the attackers a passage to throw stones at Kashmiris.

ALSO READ#IndiaWantsRevenge: Kashmiri businesses attacked in parts of India, exhibitors in Patna warned, told ‘Wind up in 24 hrs’

The other employees there also said that the attack was so terrifying that they did not have any other option than to retaliate with stones. At present, they are sitting together, ‘being there for each other’.

The Muslim areas including Sidra and Janipur have been barricaded. They are unable to leave due to the curfew and the risk that comes with being a Kashmiri, at present.

Meanwhile, Kashmiris living in many parts of India are receiving are receiving hateful text messages or termination letters for posting their opinion on social media platforms.

ALSO READ: Pulwama attack aftermath: Police, political parties set up helplines for Kashmiris staying outside the state

On February 15, Riyaz Ahmad Wani, a Kashmiri employee working with Macleods Pharmaceuticals Limited in Mumbai has been asked to write a Show Cause explanation within seven days, “as to why his services should not be terminated with immediate effect for his anti-national attitude,” after he posted an ‘objectionable’ post on social media.

“Because of your anti-national message on the social network, the company has started receiving furious comments/reactions, which are not only defaming our organisation but tarnishing image and questioning us as to why such anti-national element exists in our organization,” reads the letter he has received from the organisation’s administration.

Calling his post, “grave and serious in nature” he has been suspended with immediate effect pending further action.

Another Kashmiri Iqbal Hussain working as a Marketing Executive in Respicare Division of Zydus Healthcare Ltd. Srinagar Headquarter has also been suspended till he submits a Show Cause notice for commenting on Wani’s post.

Meanwhile, a mob threatened to set a Dehradun college on fire if the institute didn’t terminate a Kashmiri dean. Abid Kuchay, college Dean of the Alpine Institute has been terminated.

“The college asked for it. I agreed for the betterment of the college,” he said. Abid’s resignation has been asked for his role of getting Kashmir students admitted in the college.

Moreover, four Kashmiri students were suspended on Saturday by the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Rajasthan for sharing a WhatsApp status in which they were allegedly celebrating the Pulwama attack which left 49 CRPF personnel dead.

The second-year students — Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir — were suspended soon after they shared as a WhatsApp status allegedly celebrating the killings of the CRPF personnel in the attack

Earlier, Shridev Suman Subharti University in Dehradun suspended a Kashmiri student after his alleged WhatsApp chat regarding the Pulwama attack went viral.

Meanwhile, Aligarh Muslim University also suspended a Kashmiri student over a ‘highly objectionable tweet’.

Omar Saleem Peerzada, AMU PRO said: “We have come to know of the highly objectionable tweet. Taking immediate cognizance the student has been suspended by the university administration,” he said.

Moreover, 15-20 Kashmiri female students had locked themselves in a hostel room in Dehradun after a mob surrounded the campus area, demanding the management to ‘throw them out of their rooms’.

Shazia Hamid, one of the students, told Free Press Kashmir that she and other Kashmiri female students, fearing the mob, have locked themselves in a room.

Following Free Press Kashmir’s news story the women were provided safety by the Dehradun police who dispersed the crowd peacefully.

Earlier, former chief minister Omar Abdullah had appealed to the Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh to direct all state governments to take ‘special care of areas where Kashmiris as residing or studying.’

Following the reports of attacks on Kashmiris in various parts of India, Government of India on Saturday asked all the states to ensure safety and security of the students and people from Jammu and Kashmir.

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