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Punjab: Roughed up after India’s T20 loss to Pak, Kashmiri students say concerns addressed

The issue was raised by Jammu and Kashmir Students' Association spokesperson Nasir Khuehami who alleged that the Kashmiri students were thrashed by the students from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, their rooms vandalised and belongings damaged.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
Updated: October 26, 2021 8:27:18 am

A scuffle broke out between a group of Kashmiri students and those from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar at an engineering institute in Punjab’s Sangrur district following the T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan, police Monday said. Three students suffered injuries, police said, in another incident a Kashmiri student was roughed up in Kharar.

The Kashmiri students later said their concerns have been addressed by the police even as National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah said he was distressed to hear about the alleged physical assault and urged Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to look into the matter.

The incidents took place after some slogans were raised after the match on Sunday night, police said. The incidents were reported from Sangrur’s Bhai Gurdas Institute of Engineering and Technology (BGIET). and Kharar, involving students of Rayat Bahrat University. Three Kashmiri students from BGIET received minor injuries, police said.

The issue was raised by Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Association spokesperson Nasir Khuehami who alleged that the Kashmiri students were thrashed by the students from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, their rooms vandalised and belongings damaged. “Punjab Police must ensure protection of Kashmiri students studying in Punjab. I spoke to several students from BGIET. They told me that students from Bihar, UP barged in their rooms, thrashed them….They vandalised the rooms of students, damaged the hall, abused and beat up a few others….Students from Rayat Bahrat University told me that they were thrashed by several goons from Haryana,” claimed Khuehami.

A senior police official from Sangrur said, “There are 90 Kashmiri students and around 30 from UP & Bihar at the BGIET. While the match was on, Kashmiri students cheered the Pakistan team… After the match ended, some slogans were raised, which did not go well with the students from UP and Bihar. They entered the room of Kashmiri students and there was a scuffle. Police and college authorities pacified things overnight.”

A video clip surfaced on social media platforms purportedly showing a Kashmiri student alleging that some students from UP barged into their room and assaulted them. “We were watching the match and some students from Uttar Pradesh forcibly came inside. We are here to study. We are also Indians,” the student said while showing the damage to his room.

He also alleged that the security guards allowed the students from UP and Bihar to barge into their room.

Police later said the issue has been resolved between both sides and they have tendered apologies.
“Both sides have offered their apologies in front of police and college authorities today morning. The issue has been settled,” said Sangrur SSP Swapan Sharma.

A Kashmiri student from BGIET said: “There was panic last night. But college administration and police responded positively. Our concerns have been addressed. Three students received small injuries. But college administration has taken good care of them.We are not going back”.

Another student from Kashmir, who claimed he witnessed the attack in Kharar, said: “A Kashmiri student, living on rent in a Kharar locality, was mistaken as Pakistan supporter. He was attacked…We are also living on rent and all are students of Rayat Bahrat University. There are around 600 Kashmiri students in Kharar.”

He added: “We called the police. We are satisfied with the police response. We have no fear living here. We are not planning to go back to Kashmir like last time when attacks happened (after abrogation of Article 370),” he added.

In a tweet, former Jammu and Kashmir CM Abdullah said, “It is distressing to hear about the incidents of physical & verbal assault against some Kashmiri students in a college in Punjab last night. I request @CHARANJITCHANNI ji to direct @PunjabPoliceInd to look in to this & also to reassure the students studying in Punjab.”

PDP president and also form,er J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, meanwhile, called on people to take Pakistan’s win over India in a T20 World Cup match in the right spirit.

“Why such anger against Kashmiris for celebrating Pak’s win? Let’s agree to disagree & take it in the right spirit like Virat Kohli who was the first to congratulate the Pakistani cricket team,” Mehbooba said in a tweet.

Sangrur Youth Congress leaders Gobinder and Deep Tiwana met Kashmiri students at BGIET on Monday and “assured them of all support”.

“Important to give them a shoulder and assurance of safety…met them and assured them of all support as this is very much their home, even if away from native place,” the Punjab Youth Congress said in a tweet.

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