2 Dehradun Colleges Shut Doors On Kashmiris

NEW DELHI —  While several Kashmiri students from different cities have been slapped with sedition charges following Pulwama attack, two colleges in Dehradun have decided not to admit those from the Valley, with students here saying they were in a state of fear after the incident.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration Monday asked students outside the state to not pay heed to any rumours and try to stay put at their respective places.

Dehradun-based Alpine College of Management and Technology, and the Baba Farid Institute of Technology have decided not to admit any Kashmiri students from the upcoming academic session.

Top officials of the two colleges have confirmed the development in separate letters shared with students' unions, who have been demanding expulsion of all Kashmiri students following the attack.

In the Uttarakhand capital, some Kashmiri youths had also alleged that they were harassed and asked by their landlords to vacate accommodations fearing attacks on their properties in the aftermath of the Pulwama incident.

On Friday, a student in Dehradun was also booked for allegedly sending WhatsApp messages supporting the Pulwama suicide attack.

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday had asked its liaison officers across the country to look into problems being faced by students from the state.

In Jaipur, four female paramedical students of Kashmiri-origin were slapped with sedition charges after being suspended from a private institute for allegedly celebrating the attack by posting "anti-national" messages on an instant messaging app, police officials had Sunday.

They were students of the National Institute of Medical Science NIMS.

Haryana's Swami Devi Dyal College has suspended a Kashmiri student after he allegedly posted a status on Whatsapp saying "Jaish the best...more to come".

The student was suspended with immediate effect but no police complaint could be initiated against him as he is in Kashmir since January and has not been attending college, according to the institute's management,.

In Bengaluru, one Kashmiri student was Saturday arrested for allegedly hailing the Jaish militants involved in the attack and three from Spurthy Group of Institutions on Sunday held on charges of sedition after they posted some messages on Facebook hailing Pakistan in respect to the Pulwama incident.

Several Kashmiri students in Delhi said they were in a state of fear after reports of alleged harassment of Kashmiris following the attack, even as police asserted that security had been enhanced in the national capital and they would ensure the safety of all citizens.

A Kashmiri student from Jamia Millia Islamia, who did not wish to be identified, said, "Just the fact that one is a Kashmiri, irrespective of his ideology or leanings, is enough to put one's life to risk. It is happening across the country. Kashmiri students are being harassed and hounded, be it Dehradun, Ambala or Bangalore. We really fear for our security here too." 

JNU activist Shehla Rashid, who hails from Kashmir, said, "Throughout India, mobs are attacking Kashmiri students, verbally abusing them, asking for them to be expelled and filing false cases against them. The pretext being given in each case is that they said Pakistan Zindabad and even police is buying into these false claims." 

Anis Ahmed, a Kashmiri student at Delhi University, said, "We are not at all reacting on social media to any abuses which are being hurled at us even if we are being labelled as terrorists. Students who are staying on rented accommodations rather than hostels are even more scared about their safety".

The Home Ministry on Saturday issued an advisory to all states and Union territories to take measures to ensure the safety and security of Kashmiris, while 

The ministry's advisory had come hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured an all-party meeting of doing the needful for the protection of the Kashmiri students and people who were allegedly threatened after the terrorist attack.

300 Students Head Home

Nearly 300 Kashmiri students have reached Mohali from Uttarakhand and Haryana on their way to their homes, a student body arranging their stay in the Punjab town said Monday, amid reports of harassment of students from the Valley in Dehradun after the Pulwama attack.

Some Kashmiri youths studying in the Uttarakhand capital have alleged they were harassed and asked by their landlords to vacate accommodations fearing attacks on their properties after the militant strike in Pulwama that left 49 CRPF personnel dead.

Over the past two days, nearly 280 students have arrived from Dehradun and up to 30 from Haryana's Ambala district, said Jammu and Kashmir Students Organisation president Khwaja Itrat.

He said nearly 150 of the total students have moved towards Jammu, from where they will head to their homes in Kashmir Valley.

"The students told us they wanted to make a halt in Mohali as it was a safer place. We helped them arrange a temporary stay here," Itrat said.

"Authorities here are cooperating and helping us out. It is a crucial time for many students with final examinations approaching and loss of studies at this time will impact their grades. But the students want the issue to settle down and then they will decide to return," he said.

One student has alleged that unknown people attacked him on Saturday night when he was returning to the university hostel in Mullana in Ambala district.

On Sunday, talking informally to reporters in Mohali, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Sing made it clear that all Kashmiri students will be given full protection by his government.

No one will be harassed, he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Haryana police has registered an FIR after a video on social media showed some people asking Kashmiri students to vacate their accommodations in Mullana.

"Another video has surfaced in which two students were threatened to vacate their private accommodation," Ambala Superintendent of Police Astha Modi said on Monday.

She said there were nearly 600 Kashmiri students in Ambala district, of whom 350-400 were enrolled in a private university in Mullana.

"We reached out to the students and assured them about their security. We also spoke to their parents and assured them. Both the students (identified in the video) and their parents are satisfied with the steps we have taken," she said.

"Mullana villagers are making announcements on loudspeakers, assuring Kashmiri students of their safety and security," she said.

Officials said the security around other educational institutes in Haryana, including in Panchkula district, where a large number of Kashmiri students are enrolled, has been stepped up.



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