Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014

Omar moves after attack on Kashmiris in Noida hostel

Omar Abdullah Omar Abdullah
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: May 6, 2014 2:27 am

Even as the Jammu & Kashmir chief minister struck out at the Uttar Pradesh government and said it should admit its “inability” or “unwillingness” to protect Kashmiri students in the state, the management of Noida International University — where three Kashmiri students were allegedly beaten up in their hostel in Greater Noida for refusing to say ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ and raise anti-Pakistan slogans — claimed the matter had been resolved.

Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Let’s beat patriotism in to Kashmiri students, why don’t we. Great way to remove any fear or sense of alienation among Kashmiris. Thugs!!!”

He also tweeted that he was sending the resident commissioner from Delhi to the university in order to “ascertain all the facts before deciding next steps”.

But when the resident commissioner visited the university, the management claimed the students, who had allegedly been beaten, explained the situation and eventually came to a solution. “We have shifted the students from J&K to a separate hostel… The prime concern of the students was their safety and security and we are doing all we can to ensure that,” Devadesh Sharma, Registrar, Noida International University, said.

The three Kashmiri students were beaten allegedly by non-Kashmiri students at their Shiv Shakti Hostel in Greater Noida. “Students were returning from a birthday party in the hostel. They had been drinking and some of them entered the rooms of the Kashmiri students and harassed them. Their behaviour is unpardonable,” Sharma said.

He said the students who allegedly beat up the Kashmiri students were not from Noida International University but lived in the private hostel, where the incident took place.

Though no police complaint has been filed, police sent a team to the hostel after the incident.

Kashmiri students at the university claimed it was not the first time students from Kashmir had been harassed in Uttar Pradesh.

Three months ago, sedition charges were slapped against Kashmiri students and 67 of them were sent home by the management at Swami Vivekanand Subharti University in Meerut after they cheered for Pakistan in a cricket game.

Days later, six Kashmiri students of Sharda University in Greater Noida were allegedly expelled from their hostel for allegedly being involved in a brawl after an India-Pakistan cricket match.

“Jingoism and ultra-nationalistic attitude being played in some campuses in the country to harass Kashmiri students is a dangerous trend and it indicates that we have landed in the bad times,’’ a PDP spokesman said.

The Hurriyat also expressed concern over the harassment of Kashmiri students.

“The security of Kashmiri students and traders outside the state is the responsibility of the government of India,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of Hurriyat’s moderate faction, said.

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