Srinagar: Following the suicide attack on the Indian armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama region, which resulted in the death of 49 CRPF personnel, Kashmiris working, studying and living in different parts of India have been facing hate, ostracisation and violence.
A recent image shared across social media, reaffirms what traders, students, and professionals have been saying. Kashmiri traders in Bihar’s Patna were attacked and told to ‘wind up their shops in 24 hours’, or face consequences, while students have been rusticated, and tenants told to leave their accommodations.
Protests rallies against Pakistan and Jaish e Mohammad quickly turned Anti-Kashmir and Anti-Muslim with slogans such as ‘Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaron saalon ko’ (Shoot the bloody traitors of the nation), and ‘Kashmiriyon ko bhahar nikalo’ (Throw the Kashmiris out).
Rafiq Lalpuri (name changed on request) who lives in Jangpura area of Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi told Free Press Kashmir over the phone that the family was fearful of their lives. “After a Kashmiri boy was beaten in our area we felt scared for our lives. Anything can happen,” he said.
“After multiple rallies across Delhi, we felt very unsafe there. But after this Kashmiri boy in our area was badly neaten, we came to Zakir Nagar which is a Muslim area. The kind of slogans in these rallies has made us apprehensive. It is better that we don’t leave anything to chance,” Lalpuri said.
Families from Jammu have said that their areas are tense, and many have moved to mosques and muslim dominated areas, to protect themselves from mobs.
Sharing his distress, one Kashmiri man put out a call for help after being threatened. Fearing for his life, the man who lives in Kolkata with his family wrote, “Kindly help as I’m being threatened, perhaps by VHP workers since yesterday & they are constantly telling me to leave Kolkata and go to Pakistan, ‘Or we will kill you and family‘. I’m living here with 2 daughters and my wife for 6 years. I’m very afraid and worried for them.”
The distress calls and instances of hate directed towards Kashmiris was shared by people on social media too.
Sharing her experience on social media, a Kashmiri woman journalist wrote, “today two Auto rickshaw wallahs asked me to go back to my state. When I said I am a Kahsmiri Pandit, they said they don’t care. As they loathe the very identity of being a Kashmiri. They said, ‘Apne desh ka masla, Kashmiri Pandit ho ya musalman, khud solve kariye. India ko chordh dijiye. Hum aapko apne auto mein baithane de rahen hai kyonki Gareeb hai. Nahi toh tum Kashmiri logon ne Hindustan tabah kar diya hai’. Welcome to India.”
Kashmiri Traders being Beaten, Abused & Warned to leave in 24 hours, Pakistan must be Celebrating these Horrendous scenes from Bihar.
Come on, India is known for its Unity in Diversity, Let’s not tarnish the fabric of our Nation !!#PulwamaAttack pic.twitter.com/Zco2JevVkm
— Aarti (@aartic02) February 16, 2019
This follows after 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.
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.
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.
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.