Attackers questioned my appeal to help Kashmiri students, says Vikram University VC
Admitted to hospital with high blood pressure following the attack, Vikram University vice-chancellor professor Jawaharlal Kaul was released on Monday. Kaul, a native of Kupwara district of J & K, talked to HT about the issue.india Updated: Sep 17, 2014 19:59 IST
Vikram University vice-chancellor prof Jawaharlal Kaul was allegedly at the receiving end of Bajrang Dal and VHP excesses on Monday after he had issued an appeal to "landlords and house owners" for leniency in rent from Kashmiri students studying in Ujjain, in view of the devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir.
Admitted to hospital with high blood pressure following the attack, he was released on Monday. Kaul, a native of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, talked to Hindustan Times about the whole issue.
What was the reason for the attack on you?
The exact reasons of the attack are still unknown to me. But on Sunday, I had appealed to landlords and house-owners of Ujjain to be lenient towards Kashmiri students since they are facing a disaster back home. The attackers raised questions on my appeal.
What happened on the day the incident took place?
On Monday, my appeal was published by vernacular media of the district. At around 3.30 pm about 40 unknown people, who were not students of the university, came to my office and sought time for a meeting. I said that I have another meeting but they insisted. So I called them for meeting and then the whole incident took place.
Why had you issued the appeal?
A couple of days back, about 50 Kashmiri students who are studying in Vikram University went to meet collector Ujjain and sought financial help in wake of the floods in Kashmir. Subsequently, the collector talked to me on phone and enquired if I had any contingency fund for the Kashmiri students. I informed the collector that I have no discretionary fund for these sorts of situations. On this, the collector asked me to send a list of the Kashmiri students so that he can send the list to the government for financial aid.
Did the state government issue any instruction for helping the Kashmiri students?
Yes. About four days ago, the CM secretariat had issued a statement for being lenient in charging fees from these Kashmiri students for the next few months since these students’ family were facing immense hardship back home. Some NGOs have also come forward to help these Kashmiri students in the past one week.
What was the attackers’ point of confrontation?
They asked why I had issued such an appeal to help the Kashmiri students. I pointed out that there is nothing wrong in it as PM Narendra Modi has also offered monetary help to the state. All of a sudden, they started vandalising my office. When they tried to attack me, some of my fellow-professors locked me in a bathroom in to save me.