A Kashmiri research scholar from Barkatullah University was assaulted by alleged right-wing activists on Wednesday morning, in the second incident of the kind to occur over a period of three days.
Sources said Sajjad Ahmed, a PhD scholar in adult education at the university, was attacked by a group of 10 to 12 people while he was photocopying an assignment at Surendra Palace in Bagsewaniya.
“It was a crowded area, but nobody came to save him (Ahmed). The assailants also tried to blacken the student’s face,” a witness said, adding that the attackers were shouting slogans such as ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ and ‘Jai shree Ram’.
Ahmed said the culprits were terming the attack as their “response” to the occurrences in Kashmir. Sushil Sodale, a right-wing activist, echoed the sentiment. “Our attacks will continue if they don’t end the turmoil in Kashmir,” he said.
Superintendent of police Arvind Saxena said efforts were on to identify the attackers. “I talked to the student and assured him of his safety. A case has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for causing injury and rioting,” he added.
A controversy had broken out on Monday after another Kashmiri research scholar, Umar Rashid, was attacked by alleged right-wing activists on the university campus. The attackers reportedly asked Rashid, a native of Pampore, to leave Bhopal by evening or face the consequences.
The increasing hostility has reportedly forced a number of Kashmiri students to leave the city. Irfan Rashid, who set off for Anantnag on Wednesday, said: “I am leaving this place because I no longer feel safe here. My friends from Kashmir are packing their bags too.”
Umar Rashid also plans to leave the city, but not before he has met chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and discussed the security concerns of Kashmiri students with him.
However, the government seemed unaware about the unrest. When asked to comment on the issue, government spokesperson and public relations minister Narottam Mishra said: “I don’t know of any such incident. I will talk with the authorities in this regard.”