Kashmiri students were attacked in Jodhpur after the recent unrest at Srinagar’s NIT. But this is not the first time students from the valley were targets of violence.
30 incidents of violence since Feb 2013
NEW DELHI — On the evening of April 7, a group of four or five students were strolling in the lawns of Vyas Dental College in Jodhpur. All of them were from Kashmir.
Minutes into their walk, they were stopped by another group of students. Chanting “Pakistan Murdabad,” the latter group of students — armed with sticks, iron rods, and knives — allegedly assaulted the Kashmiri students.
Later that night, the Kashmiri students were attacked again in their hostel. This time, they said, the attackers were former students and “local goons.” Officials from the college, where more than 100 Kashmiri students study, dismissed the allegations saying, “these are mere rumours.”
But at least 15 policemen were deployed on campus the next day for the security of the Kashmiri students. The assaulted students described the attack as a “backlash against the police attack on ‘non-local’ boys studying at Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology (NIT).”
The incident at NIT Srinagar sparked off a debate on nationalism after local students clashed with non-Kashmiri students, who had objected to celebrations over India’s loss to West Indies in the World T20 semifinal on March 31. The non-Kashmiri students alleged that the state police assaulted them on the campus, a charge the institute’s administration denied.
The alleged attack in Jodhpur wasn’t the first time Kashmiri students found themselves in such a situation. Kashmiri students studying in colleges outside of Kashmir have been attacked in at least 30 different instances since February 2013.
In every instance, Kashmiri students were either assaulted by local students or other residents on issues ranging from support for a particular team in a cricket match to student rivalries. In several incidents, Kashmiri students were also expelled by their respective colleges. In some cases, they were even allegedly forced to chant “Bharat mata ki Jai”, “Hindustan Zindabad”, and “Pakistan Murdabad.” However, there is no record of a government appointed team visiting any of these students or their colleges to take stock of such incidents.
Hindustan Times has documented every reported attack on Kashmiri students since February 2013. The data has been produced in the shape of a timeline which tells you where the attacks occurred and why.
The data collected revealed that in at least four out of the reported 30 attacks, Kashmiri students were assaulted or beaten because they were either supporting Pakistan in a cricket match or were celebrating India’s loss. Six of the attacks cite “pro-Pakistan” slogans as a reason.
The National Capital region (NCR) witnessed the highest number of such attacks — 8. Rajasthan witnessed 5 attacks.
As a response to the growing incidents of violence against Kashmiri students outside the valley, Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front and both the factions of Hurriyat Conference have called for a valley-wide strike on April 12th.
(If you have witnessed any attack on Kashmiri students or feel we have skipped any incident, please report it here )