After Pulwama, panic dash by Kashmiris outside home state
The country seems to be shrinking for many Kashmiris as hundreds of them have fled different states because of alleged harassment and assaults over the Pulwama attack.
Pictures and videos of purported assaults in several places are doing the rounds, spreading panic among Kashmiris, mostly students, putting up in different states. Many are returning to the Valley.
On Wednesday, it was reported that two shawl vendors were allegedly thrashed in Delhi while they were on way to Haryana in a train for business. In Jammu, mobs had attacked Kashmiris.
Thousands of Kashmiris study in institutes across the country and many more are engaged in business and other activities outside their home state.
Dehradun, which lost two army officers in the recent militant attacks, has been the worst affected as far as the plight of Kashmiris studying there is concerned, most of whom have either returned or are on their way back to the Valley.
Nasir Khouhami, a spokesperson for the J&K Students Organisation, said Khalsa Aid — a Sikh relief organisation — and his group had helped around 1,000 people, mostly students, return home.
“We are receiving lot of calls from people (Kashmiris) who say they are feeling insecure outside… in places like Dehradum, Udaipur, Jaipur and some places in Punjab. Dehradun is the worst hit,” Nasir told The Telegraph.
“Around 97 per cent of Kashmiri students have been evacuated from Dehradun. We provided them transport and other facilities free of cost. We are extremely grateful to Dehradun police who did a great job and provided us all help to facilitate their return.”
Students said crowds led by Right-wing groups raided some of the colleges in the city and were looking for Kashmiris.
Haroon Ahmad, a post-graduate student in Uttaranchal College, said he was part of a group of 110 students who are on their way to the Valley.
Haroon said Khalsa Aid sent vehicles to Uttarakhand from Punjab to ferry them to the Valley. “We had to leave during the night, the freshers were particularly scared,” he said.
Haroon blamed some former Kashmiri students who were studying for some controversial posts that added fire to fuel.
Asif Kuchay, a Kashmiri dean at Alpine College in Dehradun, said a mob forced his college to suspend him after he came to the rescue of a Kashmiri girl.
“Most of Kashmiri students have left but things will be sorted out soon as our college wants them back. So far as my issue is concerned, I urged the college to suspend me (to calm the tempers),” he said.