State patronage extended to goons in UP more condemnable than the attack, says KCCI after Kashmiris beaten in Lucknow

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Srinagar: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has condemned the assault on two Kashmiri dry fruit vendors in Lucknow on Wednesday.

A spokesperson of the KCCI said that more condemnable than the attack was the ‘state patronage extended to goons and hooligans in Uttar Pradesh and other States.’

“The registration of the case under weak and feeble provisions of rioting and breach of peace, for which only one person has been booked, seems to have been intentionally done to facilitate the early release of the culprit. The videos of the incident clearly show it to be a case of attempt to murder and how the Uttar Pradesh police interpreted it to be a case of one man riot is indicative of external influence,” KCCI said in a statement.

The statement further added that the state of Uttar Pradesh has, by it’s brazen patronage, shown scant regard for the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India issued to, among others, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, for taking prompt and necessary action to prevent incidents of threat and assault on Kashmiris.

Nasir Hamid Khan, Senior Vice President, KCCI urged the Governor Satya Pal Malik to use his offices for ensuring that cases are registered for attempt to murder and other stringent provisions of criminal law against the goons and the organisations they belong to.

“There was enough evidence for invocation of these provisions and it would also act as a deterrent to others thinking of targeting innocent people in the future,” the statement added.

He said that the KCCI was hopeful that the Supreme Court would take note of the complicity of various States who were registrating cases under weak provisions of law.

“This conduct has resulted in goons and hooligans being embolden to post videos of their murderous assaults on social media,” the statement added.

In the interest of providing justice to the growing number of victims of assault and intimidation, the KCCI would also be consulting the J&K High Court Bar Association, Srinagar regarding demand for setting up of a Special Trial Court, registration of criminal proceedings in Srinagar or other legal remedies available as a free and fair trial outside Kashmir seemed impossible in the prevalent hostile condition.

Earlier, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti while reacting over beating of Kashmiri fruit sellers in Lucknow said after making Kashmiris feel like criminals, there should be no surprise when young men are taken under the wings of terror groups.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said that thrashing Kashmiris and selling the idea of ‘Atoot Ang’ (inseparable part) will not fly.

In the video, while one of the Kashmiri men is seen crying as he is being beaten with sticks, the other is seen being asked to produce his identity card after some locals came to the rescue and stopped the attackers from further thrashing.

One of the assaulters, Himanshu Awasthi, self-proclaimed “former BJP politician” and member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, posted videos and photos on his Facebook profile boasting about thrashing Kashmiris on the Daligunj Bridge in Lucknow.

Lucknow Police later said in a tweet that a case has been registered against the accused and necessary action is being taken.

Kashmiris across the country were threatened and attacked in the aftermath of Pulwama attack which killed over 40 CRPF japans. The Kashmiri suicide bomber, Adil Ahmad Dar, was affiliated to Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Following the attack in Pulwama where 49 CRPF officials were killed in suicide attack claimed by militant outfit Jaish e Muhammad, Kashmiris have been attacked in many parts of India.

In one incident, two Dehradun colleges had given in writing that they will not admit any more Kashmiris students.

A doctor from Kashmir living in Kolkata was asked to leave or face ‘dire consequences’ following the Pulwama attack on a CRPF bus on Jammu- Kashmir highway that killed 49 personnel.

The doctor, who did not wish to be named, said some men gathered outside his residence and threatened to harm his daughter unless he “returned to Pakistan”.

A mob had also threatened to set a Dehradun college on fire if the institute didn’t terminate a Kashmiri dean. Abid Kuchay.

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“The college asked for it. I agreed for the betterment of the college,” he had said. Abid’s resignation has been asked for his role of getting Kashmir students admitted in the college.

Moreover, four Kashmiri students were suspended by the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Rajasthan. 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.

Later, all four were charged with sedition. 

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

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.

In one of the worst incidents, 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, had 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 had asked all the states to ensure safety and security of the students and people from Jammu and Kashmir.

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