Jaipur: Following an altercation, four Kashmiri students were beaten up by students from Bihar at Mewar University in Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh on Friday.
One of the students, Tahir Majeed from Kashmir’s Handwara, was severely injured during the attack. He is currently admitted in a hospital. Three others – Bilal Ahmad, Isfaq Ahmad Qureshi and Mohammad Ali – have received minor injuries.
According to the police, in the afternoon, the students indulged in a scuffle after a gate pass was given to a Kashmiri student and denied to a student from Bihar.
“The student from Bihar, while arguing with the security guard about denying him a gate pass, abused the Kashmiri student. When the Kashmiri students go to know about it, the two groups of students clashed with each other,” the FIR reads.
“The students from Bihar had behaved very rudely. They even called us terrorists,” Bilal Ahmad, one of the four Kashmiri students beaten up on Friday, told The Wire.
The clash was settled by the university dean. But, later at night, when the students gathered in the mess, the students from Bihar attacked the Kashmiri students.
“Those students had pre-planned the attack. They came after us with rods in their hands. They also threw stones on the grilled window panes of the security room where we were stationed,” said Ahmad.
At night, when Kashmiri students wrote an application to the SHO, he refused to accept it. However, he arrived at the spot and warned the accused students of possible action.
Later the same night, the university administration relocated the Kashmiri students to a nearby hostel. The special superintendent of police (SSP) also visited the hospital where the injured were being treated, to assure them they were safe.
After outrage, an FIR was registered on Saturday. “An FIR under Sections 323 (voluntary causing hurt), 334 (voluntary causing hurt on provocation) and 341 (wrongful restraint) is registered against four named students, including three Muslim students from Bihar and about 20 unnamed students. So far, four accused have been detained,” Labhu Ram, SHO at Gangrar police station in Chittorgarh, told The Wire.
At present, there are over 30 students from Jammu and Kashmir enrolled in the university. There have been several such reports from Mewar University in the past, registered at Gangrar police station.
In fact, this is the second incident of violence against Kashmiri students reported in Rajasthan after Article 370 was read down by the Modi government.
Nasir Khuehami, spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir students’ association, termed the incident deplorable and demanded that all necessary steps be taken by the concerned authorities in order to secure the lives of Kashmiri students throughout the country.
“A vicious campaign against Kashmiris is being run in the country and we condemn it in the harshest words. Such incidents further contribute to alienating the Kashmiri youth. They increase the sense of insecurity and anxiety among Kashmiri students studying outside as well as among their parents and relatives in Kashmir,” Khuehami told The Wire.
“We demand the immediate arrest of all those involved in the assault on Kashmiri students and adequate arrangements for safety, security and medical care for the student injured. We urge the state and Central governments to take effective measures to prevent such happenings,” he added.
Speaking to The Wire, Harish Chandra Suthar, director (admissions) at Mewar University in Chittorgarh, said, “It was nothing serious and the matter is now settled between the two groups of students.”
On being asked whether any action would be taken against the accused students by the university, he said, “We are not considering any action against the students, however, if they will repeat the same in future, we might think about it.”