Shutdown in Valley after Kashmiris harassed over Pulwama attack
A shutdown was observed in Srinagar and adjoining areas as a mark of protest against reported attacks or targeting of Kashmiris outside the state, days after a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy killed at least 40 soldiers.
Traders’ bodies called for a complete Valley-wide bandh on Sunday against mob attacks on Kashmiris in Jammu and other states. Transporters have supported the bandh call. Authorities have imposed restrictions in parts of old city and reduced high speed mobile internet services.
A curfew in Jammu continued for a third consecutive day on Sunday with the authorities saying that it will remain in force until the law and order situation improves in the city. Authorities will take a call later whether the curfew can be relaxed or not.
A suicide bomber from the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus in Pulwama district on Thursday, killing 40 personnel and leaving many critically wounded.
Kashmiris in various parts of the country were reported to have been harassed or intimidated in retaliation against the terror attack, prompting the Union home ministry to issue an advisory all states to ensure safety and security of the students and people from Jammu and Kashmir living in their areas.
The CRPF, which suffered its worst loss in a single day in the Valley, and has sworn to avenge the death of its troopers, stayed true to its professionalism as it took to Twitter to announce the launch of a 24-hour helpline for Kashmiri students and general public who are out of the Valley.
A Kashmiri student was arrested in Dehradun on Saturday for allegedly posting “insulting and provocative” comments against the armed forces personnel while another Kashmiri student was suspended by a city-based medical college on Friday for inappropriate remarks. Similar reports came in from Aligarh Muslim University too.
In several parts of the country, Kashmiris have been asked to vacate their places. The colleges or institutions where they study have been asked to withdraw them. A mob tried to occupy a Kashmiri girl students’ hostel in Dehradun.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police have setup a helpline for the assistance of students and other Kashmiris living outside the Valley.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday cautioned that mischievous elements must not be allowed to use the Pulwama terror attack as “an excuse to persecute or harass people” from the state.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said he had requested the home minister Rajnath Singh to appoint a nodal officer in the home ministry to ensure the directive issued to states is followed in letter & spirit.