While the Supreme Court directed all chief secretaries and police chiefs to take action to prevent targeting of Kashmiris in the wake of the Pulwama attack, the Home Ministry later in the day issued a second advisory to states asking them to ensure their safety and security.
The MHA said, “State Governments and Union Territory Administrations and Nodal Officers appointed by them are once again advised to take all necessary steps to prevent any act of assault, threat, intimidation, social boycott etc. against Kashmiris (including students) as well as minorities in accordance with the Supreme Court order.”
Watch: Kashmiris attacked in several parts of India
A similar advisory was issued by the MHA on February 16. The UGC also issued an advisory to vice-chancellors of all universities to ensure the safety of Kashmiri students on campus.
The Indian Express takes a look at measures in various states:
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said his government had taken steps on the issue. “I would like to reassure that the government has taken adequate measures to ensure security and safety of Kashmiri students in Maharashtra. We will protect Kashmiri students,” he told The Indian Express.
Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, said his government was clear on how it should act when it comes to looking after students and dealing with anti-national activities. “The two cannot be mixed,” he said.
DGP Datta Padsalgikar said, “We alerted all district SPs and commissioners five days ago to ensure safety/security of Kashmiri students/residents in their respective areas. Detailed instructions have been circulated. The police have registered a case in the Yavatmal incident and culprits have been arrested.”
DG (Law and Order) Ashok Kumar, spokesperson for Uttarakhand Police, said, “Police have been deployed across Dehradun to prevent any incidents of violence against Kashmiri students.”
He added, “An FIR was registered in Bhagwanpur police station (in Haridwar district) after a mob entered Quantum University in Roorkee and misbehaved with authorities. Another FIR was registered against 23 people in Dehradun’s Rajpur police station for misbehaving with the administration of Uttaranchal College of Science and Technology. We have been working towards maintaining law and order in Uttarakhand. We will follow the Supreme Court directions on protecting Kashmiris.”
Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma told The Indian Express, “We have identified areas where Kashmiris are residing and asked police stations to be in contact with them to build confidence in the community and provide protection. We will not allow any disturbance.”
“We have been using loudspeakers to make people aware. Meetings have been held with police officials to ensure they are alert. Four people have been arrested,” IG (Law and Order) Siddhinath Gupta said.
Police have issued instructions for all check posts and special units. “We have asked our superintendents of police… to look after safety of Kashmiris and act in case of any problem,” said Muktesh Chander, DGP Goa.
“We have decided to compile a list of all Kashmiri students studying in Rajasthan and reach out to them. We will make some of these students point of contacts. In case of emergency, these students can contact officials of the local police station,” said M L Lathar, DGP (administration and law and order), Rajasthan.
DGP Gupteshwar Pandey said: “Every possible step is being taken for Kashmiris’ safety. All SP-rank officers and higher formations have been given necessary instructions in this regard.”
Inputs from Mumbai, Dehradun, Kolkata, Panaji, Jaipur, Patna
Kashmiri student ‘beaten’ in Mohali
Mohali: A Kashmiri student of a private engineering college near Landran was allegedly thrashed by unidentified persons on Friday evening. Police recorded his statement, but no complaint had been filed at the time of filing this report.
In his statement, the student said that he was on his way to college in an autorickshaw when he received a call from his home and started speaking in Kashmiri. Around 5-6 people who were also seated in the autorickshaw beat him up. Kharar (City) Inspector Bhagwant Singh Riar said, “We have not received any complaint from the student, but have registered a diary report.” (ENS)