The Union government issued an advisory to all states on Saturday to ensure the safety of people from Jammu and Kashmir after instances were reported of students from the region being targeted following the attack in Pulwama.
The CRPF, which was hit in Thursday’s attack, and the Jammu and Kashmir police opened a helpline, while a students’ organisation set up a temporary camp in Mohali to accommodate at least 20 young men and women who had left Dehradun and Ambala after facing threats.
News agency PTI quoted an unnamed home ministry official as saying that there had been reports of students and other residents experiencing threats and intimidation. “Therefore, the home ministry today issued an advisory to all states/UTs to take necessary measures to ensure their safety and security,” the official said.
The most serious incidents were reported from Dehradun and Ambala.
On Saturday, a mob occupied a hostel used by Kashmiri girls in the Uttarakhand capital, prompting a large police deployment, while a day earlier, several male Kashmiri students were targeted at their rented homes. “Kashmiri students in Dehradun have been threatened by Bajrang Dal and VHP members to leave the city within 24 hours,” said a spokesperson of the J&K Students’ Organisation. The intimidation was triggered by purported messages put up by two Kashmiri students who allegedly welcomed Thursday’s attack.
In Ambala, a village panchayat asked villagers to evict Kashmiri students living in rented accommodation within 24 hours, according to a video on social media.
In the clip, Mulana village sarpanch Naresh Rana could be heard asking villagers to evict Kashmiri tenants because, he claimed, they were involved in “suspicious activities”. Superintendent of Police Astha Modi said the matter was being investigated.
In Greater Noida, police said a 24-year-old Kashmiri MBA student complained that a ‘fake’ Facebook profile was created to post inflammatory comments.
“A news was circulating on social media regarding a Kashmiri student posting an offensive comment on Facebook. When questioned, he revealed he is staying in Kashmir with his family currently and has submitted a complaint regarding a fake Facebook ID created in his name to spread rumours,” said the spokesperson for Noida Police.