Conflict

Kashmiri shawl trader physically assaulted by mob in West Bengal, state police assures safety

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A videograb from the video of the assault posted on social media.

Srinagar: A shawl trader was physically assaulted by a mob in Taherpur area of Nadia district last night, following the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy in Lethpora area along the Srinagar-Jammu highway in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district which killed 49 CRPF personnel. The trader, Javid Ahmad Khan (27) hails from Soibugh area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

A graphic video of the attack was posted on social media, showing a bloodied nose as the mob assaulted him and forced him to shout ‘Vande Mataram’.

According to a report by Greater Kashmir, Khan was staying at his rented accommodation along with his brother when the mob attack took place around 9 pm last night.

“Both Javid and his brother Mehraj ud Din had closed their shops following tension over Pulwama attack. But last night a mob attacked Javid at his rented accommodation,” one of his cousins said, adding that the police arrived at the scene after an hour, the GK report said.

“They saved him from the mob and shifted him to a safer location. But before their arrival on the scene Javid was assaulted by the mob,” he said, as per the report.

According to his cousin, Khan has been visiting Kolkata for past ten years.

Police Sub-inspector Avijit Biswas said that Khan was safe now, as per GK.

“We have shifted him to a safer location in Krishna Nagar. He is absolutely fine,” said Biswas, adding they have taken cognisance of the incident. “We are looking for the attackers,” he said, according to the report.

The attack came after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held responsible the workers of the BJP and RSS for a string of assaults, including a mob attack on a teacher who was forced to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki jay’ and issue an apology for his social media post.

Following the news of the attack, Kashmiris living in India have been facing xenophobia, hate, terminations and suspensions.

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

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.

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

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.

ALSO READ: ‘We’re alive today because of our Sikh brothers’: Kashmiri drivers back home from Jammu tell tales of agony and hope

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.

ALSO READ: When Basant Rath ‘came to the rescue’ of Kashmiri students in Dehradun

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