A video showing some Kashmiri youths heckling jawans in central Kashmir's Budgam district while on their way to poll duty had recently gone viral on social media. The outrage over the incident sparked angry reactions across India and a probe against the unidentified youths.
But for no fault of theirs, Kashmiri students living far from away from the site and who have nothing to do with the incident seem to be be bearing the brunt of it.
Cases of Kashmiri students being targetted for the video have surfaced in at least two Indian states.
In Rajasthan's Chhittorgarh district, six Kashmiri students were reportedly assaulted on Wednesday by locals. The students are pursuing their studies at Mewar University.
The victims were taken to a hospital from where they were discharged after primary treatment.
As per police, the students have sustained minor injuries. "The incident happened on Wednesday evening when the students were in the market to purchase household items. Four-five unidentified persons asked the students about their names and permanent address and thrashed them," SHO Gangrar Dinesh Kumar told PTI.
Kashmiri Students thrashed in Mewar University #Rajasthan India,8 injured,,other Kashmiris stage sit in protest....Pics via::Fb.. #Kashmir pic.twitter.com/mYWWUAYXzR— °• Shaheen •° (@Shaheen_Kmr) April 19, 2017
"We are investigating the reason behind the incident," he said. A report by The Times of India said the locals allegedly called them "stone-pelters" and taunted them over the video.
Gangrar police station registered a case against the unidentified accused for voluntarily causing hurt and wrongful confinement. A search has been launched for the accused. Gangrar SHO told PTI that there are nearly 500 students from Kashmir and 300 from Jammu studying at Mewar University. Last year, some Kashmiri students of the same university were attacked over rumours that they cooked beef in their hostel.
In Uttar Pradesh
Banners calling for boycott of Kashmiris and asking people from the Valley to leave Uttar Pradesh have reportedly come up in the district.
"Kashmiris leave UP or face consequences" hoardings come up in Meerut. UP Navnirman Sena members say will boycott Kashmiris pic.twitter.com/CrQKiq4xxZ— Times of India (@timesofindia) April 20, 2017
One of the banner reads: “Bhartiya sena par pathar maarne wale Kashmiryon ka bahishkar. Kashmiriyo Uttar Pradesh chodo warna (Boycott those Kashmiris who pelt stones at Indian Army. Kashmiris leave UP or....”
The banners have been put up by a little-known outfit, Uttar Pradesh Nav Nirman Sena. Its chief Amit Jani told PTI that they have put up these banners and hoardings along the Partapur bypass outside the colleges where Kashmiri students study.
The police have assured action against those putting up such hoardings. But the outfit said it is only the first step and it will launch a "halla bol" campaign from April 30 to "banish" the Kashmiris who do not leave the state on their own.
8 Kashmiri students, studying at Mewar Univ, were allegedly heckled on Wed night by a group of unidentified peoplehttps://t.co/2l1LuF79G0— News18 (@CNNnews18) April 21, 2017
Govt has criticised the incidents
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday asked all the states to ensure safety of Kashmiris living in different parts of the country. Condemning the alleged incidents of harassment of Kashmiris, Singh said they are like any other Indian and an advisory is being sent by the Home Ministry to all the states to ensure the safety and security of people from the Valley.
After Kashmiri students were attacked in Rajasthan, MHA releases 24*7 helpline number for Kashmiris living outside Jammu and Kashmir pic.twitter.com/37hqki77Rx— News18 (@CNNnews18) April 21, 2017
"I have come to know that there were a few incidents of misbehaviour towards Kashmiris in some places. I appeal to all Chief Ministers to ensure security of Kashmiris," he told PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Feature image source: Twitter| Tabeenah Anum)