India

Pulwama attack: Who set Masood Azhar free in 1999 in Kandahar, asks Navjot Sidhu

Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, while speaking to reporters has said, “I want to ask who it was that released them [Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar] in 1999 in Kandahar.”

Sidhu’s comment was a reference to 1999 IC 814 hijacking. The then prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and his BJP-led government released three militants who were then held in Indian jails, in exchange for hostages.

One of the detainees released was Masood Azhar who went on to form Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Pakistan-based militant outfit.


Jaish has claimed the responsibility of the February 14, 2019, suicide bombing of a CRPF convoy in which 40 armed forces personnel lost their lives.

Soon after the attack, Navjot Singh Sidhu, a minister in Captain Amarinder Singh’s Congress government in Punjab, asked whether an entire country (Pakistan) could be blamed for the acts of a few.

Sidhu, however, strongly condemned the Pulwama attack.

After the Pulwama attack, Kashmiris living in India have been facing xenophobia, hate, terminations and suspensions.

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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