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Kashmiri students in north India live in fear

CRPF sets up helpline for Kashmiri students not in their state who are being hounded for Pulwama

By Imran Ahmed Siddiqui in New Delhi
  • Published 17.02.19, 2:51 AM
  • Updated 17.02.19, 4:25 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
A family member of Mahesh Yadav, one of the 40 CRPF personnel killed in Pulwama, breaks down before his funeral near Allahabad on Saturday. (PTI)

Kashmiri students are being labelled “terrorists”, assaulted and ordered to vacate rooms in some parts of northern India in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, multiple accounts suggest.

Around 8pm, the CRPF Madadgaar, the central force’s helpline, tweeted: “Kashmiri students and general public, presently out of Kashmir, can contact @CRPFmadadgaar on 24x7 toll free number 14411 or SMS us at 7082814411 for speedy assistance in case they face any difficulties/harassment.”

The Union home ministry has issued an advisory to all states and Union territories to take measures to ensure their safety and security.

Some Kashmiri students of a Haryana university have locked themselves in hostel rooms and have not stepped out even to buy food, said a student. “We have come here to study and chase our dreams like other students but they are treating us like enemies,” the BTech student at Maharishi Markandeshwar University in Haryana’s Ambala told The Telegraph over phone.

“We are surviving on food provided to us by our generous classmates. Fearing attacks, some Kashmiri students living in rented rooms nearby have taken shelter in the hostel,” he added.

He said a group had on Friday morning taken out a rally and shouted slogans against Kashmiri students on loudspeakers. “Their banners said all Kashmiris are terrorists. They shouted that all Kashmiri students should be dragged out by their collars, beaten up and taught a lesson,” he said.

In a video on Twitter, protesters are heard saying “those people who will give shelter to these students will be branded anti-national and traitors”.

Haryana DGP K.P. Singh said measures had been taken to ensure the safety of the Kashmiri students.

Astha Modi, Ambala SP, said: “Some miscreants had on Friday tried to create an unruly scene and shouted slogans against students. I am constantly in touch with the Kashmiri students. They are free to stay wherever they want. I have given them my personal mobile number…. We have deployed enough forces.”

Over 8,000 Kashmiri students are said to be studying in north India.

Nearly 700 Kashmiri students of various colleges in Dehradun are facing forcible eviction after a student mocked the Pulwama attack on social media. Suspended, the student is said to be on the run.

Some Kashmiri students in Dehradun said their landlords had told them to vacate the premises for fear of harm to their properties. Ten students said they were thrashed by Bajrang Dal and VHP supporters. The police have opened a helpline.

Around 20 girls from Kashmir have been forced to remain confined to their hostel rooms at the Dolphin Institute in Dehradun with a crowd outside demanding their expulsion. The police are trying to disperse the mob.

“We have nothing to do with terrorism and have left Kashmir to study. We want to live like normal human beings,” said a student in Delhi.

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