Concerned over disturbing reports about “harassment” of Kashmiri students, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asked chief ministers of all states to ensure their safety. The Home Ministry also issued an advisory to states to take “strict action” against those responsible for such incidents. “I have come to know that there were a few incidents of misbehaviour towards Kashmiris in some places. I appeal to all the chief ministers to ensure security of Kashmiris in their states.
“I appeal to everyone to consider the Kashmiri youths as their own brethren and treat them well,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters in New Delhi. Later in the evening, the Home Ministry issued an advisory asking the states to ensure safety and security of Kashmiri students.
“Recently there have been reports of harassment of students of Jammu and Kashmir studying in educational institutions in some states. The state governments and police authorities are hereby requested to take strict action to ensure the safety and security of students from Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.
“The state governments and union territories are requested to sensitise the nodal officers already appointed earlier for addressing such complaints from students of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.
The development comes against the backdrop of reports about clashes involving Kashmiri students in Rajasthan and banners asking people from Kashmir to quit Uttar Pradesh. In Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, banners calling for boycott of Kashmiris and asking people from the valley to leave the state came up but were removed by the police.
Police have registered an FIR against Amir Jani, the leader of the Hindu right group Uttar Pradesh Nav Nirman Sena for putting up the posters in several places in the city.
The poster has a picture of masked protesters hurling stones in Kashmir and a warning “Kashmiris, quit Uttar Pradesh or else…”. It also calls for a boycott of Kashmiris pelting the Indian army personnel with stones.
Jani said the banners and hoardings were put along the Partapur bypass outside the colleges where Kashmiri students study.
The outfit warned it was only the first step and that it will launch a “halla bol” campaign from April 30 to “banish” Kashmiris who do not leave the state on their own. The SHO of Partapur police station Dinesh Sharma said the banners have been pulled down.
Sub-Inspector Vipin Kumar said an FIR has been registered under IPC sections related to promoting or attempting to promote disharmony on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community.
Reports from Rajasthan said tension prevailed in Chittorgarh on Wednesday when a group of locals clashed with Kashmiri students of Mewar university. The clash occurred after the locals allegedly called Kashmiri students “stone pelters” and taunted them over a video showing CRPF personnel being heckled and assaulted in the Kashmir valley.
A video clip of some youths assaulting the personnel on poll duty in Kralpora area in central Kashmir’s Budgam district had gone viral on social media recently, triggering a nationwide outrage.
The Home Ministry advisory said action as per law needs to be taken against miscreants and safety of students from other states, including Jammu and Kashmir, needs to be fully ensured.
Sanjay Roy, a Director in the Home Ministry, has been designated as nodal officer and the nodal officers of the states and union territories are asked to send reports of such incidents, if any, along with action taken thereon to him at <email@example.com>, it said.
The advisory said a 24×7 helpline for Kashmiris has also been operational and anyone in distress can be contacted at 011-23092923 and 011-23092885.