Kashmiri students concerned over reports of harassment from northern states
Four-days after the worst ever terror attack claiming the lives of 40 CRPF jawans in Pulwama in the valley, Kashmiri students, who were being targeted elsewhere in the country said that they were safe in Punjab. On February 14th, a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district had rammed an explosives laden SUV into one of the convoys of the CRPF jawans, leading to the deadliest terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Though terrified, Kashmiri students said they were feeling safe in Punjab, particularly Jalandhar. Eeshan Pir, a student from Baramulla in Kashmir said that people should not target them just because they belonged to Kashmir. “We are deeply pained at the Pulwama terror attack and know the pain of the families of the CPRF jawans. It is sad that people were targeting us, whereas we were here for our education only. Our parents, friends and relatives were also concerned but we are safe in Jalandhar.
However, we are abstaining from moving out of the hostel.” Another student Khaleel from Sopore in Kashmir, who is pursuing engineering from CT Campus Jalandhar said that fear gripped Kashmiri students after they were hounded at Dehradun, Ambala and Bangalore. “Though, we are safe in Jalandhar but if people consider Kashmir as an integral part of the country, then they should treat us like that. Nobody can be happy over the terror attack in Pulwama. We were keeping in touch with the fellow Kashmiri students and want to plead that please don’t hound us”, he said. Khaleel was one among many Kashmiri students who came to pursue education outside valley, post the killing of Burhan Wani- the commander of a Kashmiri militant Hizbul Mujahideen in 2016. “The valley was witnessing protests everywhere and it was my family’s decision to send me to Jalandhar for education. I am also thankful to my Sikh friends and the community, who have always treated us like one among them. But what is happening now has shaken us too”, he added. Khawaja Itrat, an engineering student from CGS Landran campus Chandigarh who is also the president of Jammu and Kashmir Students Organisation said that they received over 40 students from Dehradun in Chandigarh on Sunday.
“Kashmiri students, including girls were being chased by some local groups in Dehradun post Pulwama terror attack. Today, we received them here in Chandigarh. Currently, they were staying in some of the flats that we arranged. We are also thankful to a local Gurdwara management in Sohana in Mohali, who gave us rooms to accommodate the fellow Kashmiri students”, he added. A resident of Bandipora in Kashmir, Itrat said that they strongly condemn Pulwama terror attack but people should not label all Kashmiris as traitors. “Had the conditions in valley been conducive, we would have never come out of our towns for education. We are afraid too but people should stop targeting us”, he added. The Kashmiri students also said that they were following the social media particularly Facebook and Whatsapp and were left alarmed over the situation. They also said that the government should solve the Kashmir issue and control the situation from turning worse.
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