Students and Safety

February 11, 2018 EDITORIAL 102 Views
Students and Safety

For hundreds and thousands of Kashmiri students, studying outside their State, the safety has been a major challenge for them and the State government. Recently two students of the State, studying in Haryana, were attacked by unruly ‘mob’. Reportedly Aaftab Ahmed of Rajouri and Amjad Ali of Shahdara Sharief who were returning from a Masjid after Friday prayers were stopped and beaten to pulp by an unruly mob of 15-20 persons. The recent incident suggests, Haryana’s chief minister, ML Khattar has failed to rein-in the fringe elements and groups despite Prime Minister Narrander Modi’s appeal and assurances. The incident that flashed across different social networking sites triggering condemnations, brought to fore the grave issue of attacks of Kashmiris, students in particular, outside the state (J&K). Attacks on Kashmiris in different states of India apparently have increased since BJP wrested power from Congress after defeating the latter in general elections in 2014 and various assembly elections in the last few years. While as communal elements under the garb of ‘cow vigilantes’ have been attacking minorities mostly Muslims in different states of India, Kashmiri students who are more vulnerable due to the ongoing turmoil in the Valley have become easy targets. A pattern has emerged wherein those declared as ‘fringe elements’ or right-wing extremists are not only intimidating Kashmiris, Muslims and other minorities but are carrying out assaults in a systematic manner to accentuate fear and insecurity among the victims. As has been observed with the past attacks, those regions or belts where the ‘fringe elements’ are patronized by political groups have become the most unsafe places for Kashmiris, Muslims and other minorities. In the past couple of years Haryana state led by BJP leader and CM Manohar Lal Khattar, has seen violence and riots on and off. Last year the state saw surge in violence and rioting after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda leader. Fragile law and order situation in Haryana besides poor political command over fringe groups has turned it into a sanctuary of fringe groups. Therefore there is no point of taking up the case head-on with the Haryana government. CM Mehbooba Mufti previously had to apprise the union government after similar attacks in Rajasthan’s Mewar area. It invoked PM Modi to issue an appeal of safeguarding Kashmiri students studying outside J&K. In April 2017, Modi asked the state chief ministers to reach out to the students of J&K and ensure their safety.

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