The two Dehradun colleges who had given in writing that they will not admit any more Kashmiris students, on Tuesday said that they did it as they were ‘under pressure of the mob’, reported the Press Trust of India.
Both the institutes said that no such decision has been taken by the management.
“We had to do it under pressure from a mob of around 400-500 which was protesting at the gates demanding expulsion of Kashmiri students from the institute and an assurance in writing that the new ones will not be granted admission following the terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama,” Chairman of Alpine College of Management and Technology, Anil Saini, told PTI.
“What the institute administration gave in writing to the protesting mob was to ensure the safety of the Kashmiri students,” he added.
He said no policy decision has been taken about denying admission to Kashmiri students from the next session.
“How can we deny admission to Kashmiri students?. Aren’t we bound by the constitution of India? The statement given in writing by the institute’s administration was meant to pacify the angry protesters and to prevent the situation from going out of hands,” Saini said.
Baba Farid Institute of Technology, which was the other city-based institution to give a similar commitment in writing, also admitted that it did so under pressure.
“The institute was open that day and there were Kashmiri students on campus. We were worried about their safety. That is why we said no Kashmiri student will be admitted from the upcoming session,” Principal of Baba Farid Institute of Technology Aslam Siddiqui said.
About 450 students from Jammu and Kashmir study in these two institutes.
However, Siddiqui refused to name any outfit for the protests.
“A mob does not have a face. It was an angry mob consisting of even people from nearby villages. They were in no mood to listen to us and it was no use arguing with them. All they wanted was a written undertaking denying admission to Kashmiri students which we gave to defuse the situation,” he said.
Siddiqui admitted that the WhatsApp message sent by a Kashmiri student of Sridev Suman Subharti University in which he had expressed happiness over the terrorist attack in Pulwama did add fuel to the fire.
“People were already angry following the terror attack in Pulwama and his comment did rub salt into the wounds triggering tension and the subsequent protests.”
He said the situation now was fully under control with no protests over the last three days and substantial deployment of police personnel around campuses where Kashmiri students study. “We are getting full co-operation from the police with SSP Nivedita Kukreti herself monitoring the situation,” Siddiqui said.
IG Garhwal range Ajay Rautela said the Kashmiri students are completely safe and they should not worry. Police patrolling in Premnagar area, where most of the Kashmiri students live, has been stepped up.
However, he appealed to people to maintain calm.
“People are grief stricken over the martyrdom of our soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir. In a situation like this we must ensure that no such content which has the potential to hurt sentiments is floated on the social media,” he said.
Earlier, a doctor from Kashmir who has been living in Kolkata for the past 22 years claimed that he had been asked to leave or face ‘dire consequences’ following the Pulwama attack on a CRPF bus on Jammu- Kashmir highway that killed 49 personnel.
According to the report, the doctor, who did not wish to be named, said he was heckled but he had not paid much heed to the threats he had received initially. However, he grew concerned after some men gathered outside his residence and threatened to harm his daughter unless he “returned to Pakistan”.
A mob had threatened to set a Dehradun college on fire if the institute didn’t terminate a Kashmiri dean. Abid Kuchay, college Dean of the Alpine Institute has been terminated.
“The college asked for it. I agreed for the betterment of the college,” he said. Abid’s resignation has been asked for his role of getting Kashmir students admitted in the college.
Moreover, four Kashmiri students were suspended on Saturday by the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Rajasthan for sharing a WhatsApp status in which they were allegedly celebrating the Pulwama attack which left 49 CRPF personnel dead.
The second-year students — Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir — were suspended soon after they shared as a WhatsApp status allegedly celebrating the killings of the CRPF personnel in the attack.
Now, all four have been charged with sedition.
Earlier, Shridev Suman Subharti University in Dehradun suspended a Kashmiri student after his alleged WhatsApp chat regarding the Pulwama attack went viral.
Meanwhile, Aligarh Muslim University also suspended a Kashmiri student over a ‘highly objectionable tweet’.
Omar Saleem Peerzada, AMU PRO said: “We have come to know of the highly objectionable tweet. Taking immediate cognizance the student has been suspended by the university administration,” he said.
Moreover, 15-20 Kashmiri female students had locked themselves in a hostel room in Dehradun after a mob surrounded the campus area, demanding the management to ‘throw them out of their rooms’.
Shazia Hamid, one of the students, told Free Press Kashmir that she and other Kashmiri female students, fearing the mob, have locked themselves in a room.
Following Free Press Kashmir’s news story the women were provided safety by the Dehradun police who dispersed the crowd peacefully.
Earlier, former chief minister Omar Abdullah had appealed to the Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh to direct all state governments to take ‘special care of areas where Kashmiris as residing or studying.’
Following the reports of attacks on Kashmiris in various parts of India, Government of India on Saturday asked all the states to ensure safety and security of the students and people from Jammu and Kashmir.