Following the latest attack, the worst against Indian armed forces in Kashmir’s history by Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist organisation, having its base in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly warned that those behind it would pay a heavy price and that security forces have been given a free hand to act against terror.
The entire nation is filled with a revenge-seeking outlook, protests and marches taking centre stage exhibiting anger and a feeling of retribution for the death of CRPF jawans at the hand of a terrorist organisation.
Perhaps one of the most unfortunate results of this fallout is that innocent, peace-loving Kashmiris, living outside the state, have come under fire from sections of societies and individuals all over India.
There’s no denying the fact that the Kashmiri Muslims, throughout the country are often subjected to hostility and regarded with suspicion by their own countrymen and are being challenged on their patriotism.
When Kashmiris interact with non-Kashmiris, there is always the question of national identity that comes up and often leads to conflict
The attacks on Kashmiri students are the result of a nationalist sentiment that has grabbed the centre stage. The self-proclaimed patriotics have taken up the responsibility of being aggressive towards all who do not conform to their idea of nationalism.
As the students who have left the valley, face the brunt of such violence, possibly because their identity is still perceived as perpetrators of militancy, the Union government issued an advisory to all states to ensure the safety of people from Jammu and Kashmir.
The CRPF, which was the main target of February 14 attack, and the Jammu and Kashmir police too opened a helpline.
CRPF Madadgaar, the central force’s helpline had on Saturday night tweeted, “Kashmiri students and the general public, presently out of Kashmir, can contact @CRPFmadadgaar on 24×7 toll-free number 14411 or SMS us at 7082814411 for speedy assistance in case they face any difficulties/harassment”.
The most serious incidents were reported from Dehradun and Ambala.
A students’ organisation set up a temporary camp in Mohali to accommodate at least 20 young men and women who had left Dehradun and Ambala after facing threats.
A mob had occupied a hostel used by Kashmiri girls in the Uttarakhand capital, prompting a large police deployment, while a day earlier, several male Kashmiri students were targeted at their rented homes. “Kashmiri students in Dehradun have been threatened by some organisations to leave the city within 24 hours,” said a spokesperson of the J&K Students’ Organisation.
In Ambala, a village panchayat asked villagers to evict Kashmiri students living in rented accommodation within 24 hours. The video also surfaced widely on social media.
In the clip, Mulana village sarpanch Naresh Rana could be heard asking villagers to evict Kashmiri tenants because he claimed, they were involved in “suspicious activities”. Superintendent of Police Astha Modi said the matter was being investigated.
In Greater Noida, police said a 24-year-old Kashmiri MBA student complained that a ‘fake’ Facebook profile was created to post inflammatory comments.
“A news was circulating on social media regarding a Kashmiri student posting an offensive comment on Facebook. When questioned, he revealed he is staying in Kashmir with his family currently and has submitted a complaint regarding a fake Facebook ID created in his name to spread rumours,” said the spokesperson for Noida Police.
Several Kashmiri students in the nation’s capital said they were in a state of fear after reports of alleged harassment of Kashmiris following the Pulwama terror attack, even as police asserted for enhanced security.
Assporadic incidents of violence and alleged harassment against Kashmiri students were reported across India, the home ministry had on Saturday issued an advisory to all states and Union territories to take measures to ensure the safety and security of Kashmiris.
The advisory came hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured an all-party meeting of doing the needful for the protection of the Kashmiri students and people who were allegedly threatened after the terrorist attack.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and sought his intervention to ensure the safety of Kashmiri students and traders in various parts of the country.
“I took the opportunity to inform Rajnath Singh Sb of the reports I had received of Kashmiri students & others being threatened/harassed and requested him to appoint a nodal officer in HMO India to ensure the directive issued to states is followed in letter & spirit (sic),” he wrote on Twitter.
Why this outrage is dangerous?
Over a period of time, recruitment of educated young men in terrorist organisations has sparked question as to why educated youth of Kashmir abandon their comfort zone and prefer death over degrees?
Job, poverty or cross border incitement is not the reason but broken promises, harassment, unequal treatment, denied justice and a suspicious eye force the educated youth of Kashmir to pick up arms.
Beng labelling them as a terrorist without distinguishing them from actual militants, Kashmiri youth resort to extremism because of the oppression they face in Kashmir and outside, which hurt their sentiments.
The injustice that the society ponder on them subsumed by the message of hatred being spread by the militant schools, educated youths retort that revolt against atrocities at the hands of fellow Indians can be the only way to acclaim dignity.
With India’s general election barely months away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under heavy pressure from his supporters to punish arch-rival Pakistan for a suicide attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy that killed at least 44 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir.
Till then, targeting innocent fellow citizens who have the tag to be born in the state of J&K should not the motto of revenge-seeking nationalists.