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Communalism

Kashmiri Students in Punjab Universities 'Attacked' After India's T-20 Defeat to Pakistan

Alleged incidents of violence against Kashmiri students were reported from two universities in the state: the Bhai Gurdas Institute of Engineering and Technology in Sangrur and the Rayat Bharat University in Mohali.

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New Delhi: Following India’s defeat to Pakistan in the T-20 Cricket World Cup on Sunday, October 24, several Kashmiri students from universities in Punjab alleged that they were assaulted by fellow students, NDTV reported.

Kahsmiri students at the Bhai Gurdas Institute of Engineering and Technology in Punjab’s Sangrur alleged that other students barged into their room after the match and ransacked it while also attacking the students. Images were shared on Twitter of the bodily injuries these Kashmiri students sustained.

Nasir Khuehami, national spokesperson of the J&K Students Association in a tweet claimed that the Kashmiri students were assaulted by students from Bihar, UP and Haryana and were only saved by local Punjabi students.

A video of the aftermath of the purported assault has been circulating on social media in which one Kashmiri student can be heard saying that ‘UP waale’ barged into their room after the match. In the video, he also says, “We’ve come here to study; we’re Indian too.” 

The Twitter thread also notes that officials of the Punjab police arrived at the scene at night and brought the situation under control. Both sets of students reportedly apologised to each other after the police arrived at the scene. No police case has been filed.

Swapan Sharma, senior superintendent of police for the Sangrur district told the Indian Express that the issue had been resolved after both sets of students apologised in front of police and college authorities on the morning of October 25.

Reports also emerged of a similar incident in which four Kashmiri students of the Rayat Bharat university in Mohali were assaulted by “several goons from Haryana”, according to Khuehami.

Khuehami tagged Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi in several tweets in which he spoke of the incidents of violence, asking him to ensure the protection of Kashmiri students studying in Punjab. 

Khuehami noted that incidents such as these have “increased the sense of insecurity and anxiety among Kashmiri youths studying and working outside…” and demanded that the perpetrators of the violence be arrested.