April 2016 News

Separatists Force Shutdown In Kashmir Over Attacks On Students Outside

12 April 2016
Nazir Masoodi

Srinagar: After violence at NIT Srinagar and the ensuing stand-off, reported attacks on Kashmiri students in other parts of the country are fast becoming a major political issue in Kashmir. Separatists today ensured a complete shutdown in all the 10 districts of the Kashmir valley over the issue. The shutdown or bandh was organised to protest the harassment of students outside after images of injured Kashmiri students went viral. Mainstream parties and civil society groups too have asked the government to ensure safety of Kashmiri students. The students were allegedly beaten up at a dental college in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, last week. Sources say Jammu and Kashmir DGP K Rajindra spoke with the Rajastan Police and is also in touch with the police chiefs of some other states like Punjab and West Bengal where Kashmiri students have allegedly faced harassment. Kashmiri separatists say that attacks on Kashmiri students in other states of India are 'premeditated and part of larger conspiracy against Kashmiris'. In response to their 'bandh call', shops, business establishments, schools and most of the banks remained closed and public transport did not run. Attendance in government offices was also poor. 'Kashmiri students are harassed everywhere in the country. It is a matter of policy to punish and humiliate Kashmiris. Those involved in beating and harassing Kashmiri students are being encouraged by the Indian government,' said Yasin Malik who was arrested by police when he tried to take out a protest demonstration. The High Court Bar Association has also condemned attacks on Kashmiri students and warned government to put an end to such attacks. 'There will be consequences. Kashmiri people will not stay silent if attacks on our students continue,' said a senior member of the association.