Pune: Journalist From Kashmir Assaulted, One Arrested

Jibran Nazir, who works with a newspaper in Pune, said the assailants told him that they would 'send him back to Kashmir'.

Pune: In yet another incident of assault on Kashmiris after the Pulwama terror attack, a 24-year-old journalist from Jammu and Kashmir was beaten up here.

The local police, who earlier dubbed it as an incident of road rage, registered a case against the two suspected assailants on Friday evening and arrested one of them.

The journalist was allegedly thrashed by the two men on Thursday night during a squabble at a traffic signal.

Jibran Nazir, who works with a newspaper in Pune, said the assailants told him that they would ‘send him back to Kashmir’.

Nazir, however, stated that it was not an ‘organised’ attack.

The assailants later apologised to him at the police station, he said.

A police official said it was an incident of road rage and not linked with the Pulwama attack.

The incident came a day after students from Kashmir studying in a college in Yavatmal in Maharashtra were attacked, allegedly by members of the Yuva Sena, the youth wing of the Shiv Sena.

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Nazir said he was attacked on Tilak Road around 10:45 pm when he was returning home on a motorbike. As he stopped at a traffic signal, two men on a motorbike behind him started honking, asking him to move, which led to a heated exchange.

Noticing that his motorbike had a Himachal Pradesh (HP) registration number, the duo said they would pack him off to Himachal Pradesh.

When Nazir corrected them, saying he was a journalist hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, the duo beat him up, saying “we will send you back to Kashmir, do your journalism there,” he claimed.

They snatched his mobile phone, damaged his bike and fled. After Nazir noted down their bike number and approached the Swargate police station, police located the assailants, who came to the police station with their parents and apologised to him.

Nazir said he decided not to pursue the matter further and withdrew his police complaint.

Later Friday evening, the Pune police registered a case, on their own, against Azharuddin Shaikh, 32, and Dattatray Lavate, 35, the two suspects.

The case was registered against them under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 279 (rash driving), said senior inspector Ashok Kadam.

While Shaikh was arrested, the police were in the process of arresting Lavate, he said.

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