Extremism

Jammu: Despite ‘curfew’, petrol bomb hurled on Kashmiris residing in Top Sharekhan area

Srinagar: Kashmiris residing in government quarters in the Top Sharekhan area of Bhakshi Nagar, Jammu were attacked with a petrol bomb by protesters in Jammu at around 11.45 last night, despite the imposition of curfew.  Kashmiris were wide awake all night fearing attacks.

The cops said that they are investigating the matter and added that the night was ‘event-free’.

Despite imposition of ‘strict curfew’, the night for Kashmiris got scarier after a car caught fire when a petrol bomb was hurled on it by the protesters. The car was was adjacent to 15 other cars. According to the residents the quarter was surrounded by hundreds of protesters at that time.

“They were there in the front and back of the quarters. On left, there is no deployment. They can come from that side. In fact, they did and abused our daughters,” says one of the employees in Top Sherkhan adding that it is a colony full of Kashmiris.

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Narrating the incident, he says, “One Kashmiri was moving to Bhatindi with his kids from where he was planning to go to Srinagar. He had seen the car on fire and screamed immediately. There were 25 cars in one place. If the fire would not have been extinguished, no one would have been alive here in this quarter.”

“During the day, they kept raising anti-Pakistan slogans. We had nothing to do with it. Instead of dispersing the mob, the police was asking us to stay indoors. They are roaming around free despite the curfew,” says a Kashmiri government employee residing in Top Sherkhan stressing that the colony full of Kashmiris.

He also said that police used abusive language for them and their families. “I spoke to the female police official about the kind of language they were using. They just ask us to be patient,” he says adding, “All we are asking for is a safe passage to home. The police are not able to stop them. They are all together. We have families with us. We need to go back.”

“There are 12 sets in each quarter. At present around 300 Kashmiris must be living in quarters in Jammu,” he says. On hearing the news about the attack, all the Kashmiris stayed awake during the night. Some among them staying in Mecca Masjid in Bhatindi were rescued by police and sent to Srinagar in buses.

“People were crying, begging for help in Mohalla Ustad,” says one of the Kashmiris in Jammu.

One Kashmiri, Irshad Ahmad living in Government quarters in Janipur, Jammu was detained by the police in the day on charges of stone pelting.

The Secretariat employees have boycotted their official duties and have decided to stay in the quarters and guard their families. However, according to Police Control Room Jammu and SSP Jammu Tejinder Singh, the situation is under control.

“We are investigating (who attacked with the petrol bomb). There was nothing serious about it. The night was event free. No attacks were carried out anywhere in Jammu,” says Singh affirming that curfew continues in Jammu province for the fourth consecutive day.

The arson attacks on Kashmiris in Jammu followed after 49 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed in a suicide attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad on 14 February.

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.

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.

A mob had 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.

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“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

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

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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