Four students were injured in a clash that broke out between a group of Kashmiri students and others in Gulzar Group of Institutes at Khanna in Ludhiana district on Sunday. According to students from the institute, the two group had been rivals for quite some time. “This rivalry was brewing since months. During India-Pakistan sports matches, the Kashmiri students raised anti-India slogans but it never escalated as college authorities intervened,” said a student from Bihar involved in the incident, on condition of anonymity. “Recently, they mocked the death of soldiers at Uri. On Sunday, similar thing happened again and situation turned tense in the mess. We were around five to six students and they were more than 25. My friend went for breakfast when they started passing comments. It turned ugly and they huddled around him. He was badly beaten and thrashed. We went to save him and both groups exchanged blows.”
A Kashmiri student, however, countered him. “We did not provoke them or raise any slogans in favour of Pakistan. Ever since tensions at the border started to increase, there has been taunting and even bullying from both sides, wherever Bihar and Kashmir students sat together,” he said.
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The Indian Express accessed a video from sources in the institute that showed almost 50 students chasing and beating each other with sticks and stones. They can also be heard hurling abuses at each other and running across the campus lawn. In the incident, a student Mukesh suffered head injuries. He was rushed to hospital. Three others received minor injuries. College authorities promptly called the police and asked students to move to their hostels immediately. Both college authorities and police claimed the incident was over a minor issue and no pro-Pakistan slogans were raised.
“One student tried to break the row in the mess hall during breakfast and this led to the clash,” said Jagwinder Singh Cheema, DSP, Khanna. “It was a clash between students that happens in every college. Injured students are okay now and there were no pro-Pak slogans.”
Police recorded statements of injured students, warden and the college director but no FIR was registered. Sources said that college authorities also suspended wifi services in hostels to stop forwarding of videos and photos of the incident. Raman Chadha, administrative officer of the institute said, “It was a minor clash over breakfast. All the students are fine.”
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