People take out a protest rally against the Pulwama attack, in Kolkata.(PTI)
People take out a protest rally against the Pulwama attack, in Kolkata.(PTI)

Four students face sedition charges, man thrashed in aftermath of Pulwama attack

Jammu and Kashmir, which is under Governor’s rule, reviewed the safety of the state’s youngsters in different parts of the country after reported disturbances. Authorities are in touch with different states, which have assured of providing adequate security to Kashmiri students.
By HT Correspondents
UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2019 10:08 AM IST

Kashmiri Muslims in some parts of the country said on Sunday they were facing a backlash, three days after a suicide bomber hit a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy and killed 40 people, with a man being thrashed in New Delhi for allegedly raising anti-India slogans in a charged atmosphere.

In another case, four paramedical students in Rajasthan were charged with sedition over social media posts following last week’s terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.

The administration in Jammu and Kashmir, which is under governor’s rule, reviewed the safety of the state’s youngsters studying in different parts of the country after reported disturbances. J&K authorities are in constant touch with different states, which have assured of providing adequate security to the students, an official said.

The Central Reserve Police Force, the paramilitary force that was targeted by a suicide bomber in the February 14 attack, cautioned people against what it said was fake news “about the harassment” of Kashmiri students spread by some people. “...CRPF helpline has enquired about complaints about harassment and found them incorrect. These are attempts to invoke hatred. Please DO NOT circulate such posts.”

In an earlier tweet that was reposted on the CRPF’s official Twitter handle, the force said: “Kashmiri students and general public, presently out of Kashmir can contact @CRPFmadadgaar on 24x7 toll free number 14411 or SMS us at 7082814411 for speedy assistance in case they face any difficulties/harrasment.”

In Rajasthan’s Jaipur, four women paramedical students of Kashmiri-origin faced sedition charges and were suspended from a private institute for allegedly celebrating the Pulwama attack by posting an “anti-national” message on WhatsApp, officials said.

Authorities in the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS) told second-year students Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir that their “act is grave and serious in nature”. The case against them was lodged after a complaint by the university. The students were booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity) and other provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

The Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh, too, has suspended an undergraduate Kashmiri student for his alleged objectionable tweet on the Pulwama attack. It has also issued an advisory to its Kashmiri students, asking them “not to move out of the campus” as a precautionary measure.

In Karnataka, a woman teacher of a private school in Karnataka was arrested for allegedly praising Pakistan. Jilekha Bi of the school at Shivapura in Belagavi was held on Saturday night after a social media post, officials said. She is the second person to be arrested in the state in such a case after Thursday’s strike, claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad.

A Kashmiri college student was arrested on Saturday for allegedly hailing the Jaish attacker.

A 28-year-old Kashmiri man, who allegedly shouted anti-India slogans at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, was beaten up by a group of people who had gathered there to mourn the killing of the CRPF troopers. Madhur Verma, DCP, New Delhi, identified the man as Adil Hussain, a resident of Hazratbal and a travel agent.

“He arrived from Kashmir on Saturday. He was drunk at the time of the incident and comes across as mentally unsound,” Verma said. No first information report (FIR) was registered against Hussain, who was punched and kicked by the people before police rescued him.

In Uttarakhand, which houses many students from Kashmir, the situation remained tense.

Ashok Kumar, DGP (law and order), said authorities took necessary steps and deployed personnel in and around educational institutes. Kumar also appealed to Kashmiri students to be cautious while posting messages on social media. The Madhya Pradesh police issued instructions to all district police officials to ensure the security of Kashmiri students.

On Sunday, the Kashmir Valley was under a shutdown as a mark of protest against the alleged attacks and harassment of Kashmiris outside the region. All prominent political leaders and separatists spoke out against these incidents, with former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah warning that these actions will further alienate Kashmiris.

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