Four female Kashmiri students in Rajasthan charged with sedition for allegedly ‘celebrating’ Pulwama attack

Four medical Kashmiri students have been charged with sedition after being suspended from a private institute in Jaipur for allegedly ‘celebrating’ the Pulwama suicide attack by posting “anti-national” messages on an instant messaging app, officials cited in a report by Kashmir Observer said Sunday.

The students, in their second-year of the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), identified as Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir, were suspended for allegedly posting on WhatsApp a picture in which they were purportedly seen celebrating the attack in Kashmir that killed 49 CRPF personnel, the report stated.

The picture went viral shortly after, leading the university to take action.

Accordingly, in the suspension order, the NIMS registrar said,”You have posted an anti-national message on your WhatsApp for celebrating killing of Pulwama terrorist attack martyrs. The university will not tolerate and strictly condemns such activities. The act is grave and serious in nature.”

ALSO READ: #IndiaWantsRevenge: Kashmiris outside fear for their lives, face xenophobia, abuse, rustication after Pulwama attack

A police official was quoted in the report as having said that a case was registered against the four students following a complaint by the university administration.

The students were booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity) and relevant provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act. Senior officials are investigating the matter and appropriate action will be taken thereafter, SP (Rural) Harendra Kumar said, as per the report.

Earlier, Aligarh Muslim University suspended an undergraduate Kashmiri student for his alleged objectionable tweet in connection with the Pulwama attack.

A Kashmiri student pursuing BTech in Chitkara University in Himachal Pradesh was arrested for allegedly “glorifying” the suicide bomber Aadil Ahmed Dar, who was behind the Pulwama attack, reported the Indian Express.

In Jammu, curfew was imposed on Friday after miscreants torched vehicles and damaged several others carrying number plates of the Kashmir Valley in protest against Thursday’s killing of 49 CRPF troopers in a suicide attack in Pulwama by a Jaish-e-Mohammad militant.

A number of quarters belonging to Kashmiris in the Janipur area of Jammu were attacked by frenzied mobs, despite imposition of curfew in the city on Saturday.

“The mobs entered inside the premises and attacked quarters of Kashmiris while police remained a mute spectator,” they said, according to GNS.

Secretariat Employees Union President Ghulam Rasool Mir had condemned the attack and urged the administration to ensure the safety of the people from Kashmir and those from the particular community.

ALSO READ: ‘We were attacked from all sides’: Darbar move employees in Jammu say neighbours were part of the mob too

The fresh attack came despite the fact that the administration had not relaxed curfew on Saturday too.

After the mob violence, Army was immediately called in to restore order in the city.

Curfew was imposed on Friday when a mob torched and damaged at least 30 vehicles belonging to local Muslims and Kashmiris. Curfew was initially imposed in some vulnerable areas, but was later extended to the entire city as tension mounted in the wake of violence against a particular section of the society.

The authorities met with important citizens belonging to different communities on Friday to seek their help in bringing the city back to normal.

The Joint Resistance Leadership had condemned the arson attacks in Jammu, saying it is the responsibility of the state administration to ensure safety of Kashmiris living there.

“Right from 1947 (when subcontinent was divided), communal forces active in Jammu leave no stone unturned to attack and intimidate Muslims and Kashmiri people,” they said.

Trouble erupted when a group of people belonging to various right wing organisations including Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, and VHP took out a procession carrying tricolours through Gujjar Nagar, which is predominantly inhabited by Muslims.

Earlier, Omar Abdullah, Vice President of the National Conference had appealed Rajnath Singh take ‘special care of areas where Kashmiris as residing or studying.’

In a tweet, he had said that ‘they (Kashmiris) are soft targets in a surcharged atmosphere.’

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