The situation across India is sitting on a seesaw. With every news update — poles-apart sometime — the opinion of the country divides. The war of words, abuses, threats and — truth — is running high. The sequence of the events appears to be a chain, yet not a circle.
Pulwama attack: At least 49 CRPF troopers killed | Country mourns | Kashmiris under attack: students, business establishments thrashed | Dehradun, Ambala, Patna – the pointing on the map started | Uttarakhand government tweets, fake news of harassment against Kashmiris in Dehradun | But Dehradun’s two institutions would not take in Kashmiris from next session.
Among other states, The Kashmir Walla earlier reported on how one hate campaign started in Dehradun through social media. Wading through the clutter, to dive deep into the truth in Dehradun, we spoke to several students and people in the last few days, and now reached out to multiple institutions, students and — Bajrang Dal’s Convenor, Vikas Verma, of Dehradun.
“Mob of 500-700 people” asking college not to admit Kashmiri students
The news hit the stands on 18 February that two institutions from Dehradun – Alpine Group of Institutes and Baba Farid Institute of Technology (BFIT) will not offer admissions to Kashmiris from next session.
Talking to The Kashmir Walla, Dr. Aslam Siddique, the principle of BFIT told that the letter, stating that they will not give admission to Kashmiris, was “only been given to calm down the mob.”
“Tell me one thing, if you have 500-700 people standing in front of you, what will you do?” said Dr. Siddique, “It was a general mob, and it doesn’t have a face; we cannot identify any one of them or their political affiliation.”
According to him, around 250 Kashmiris are studying in BFIT in this session, and the institution will only follow admission guidelines given by the central government.
‘These students have links to Pakistan,’ says Bajrang Dal
While many reports surfaced claiming the harassment of Kashmiris in Dehradun as fake, Vivek Verma, Convenor of the Bajrang Dal in Dehradun, while talking to The Kashmir Walla on call, said, “We told BFIT on Friday that they will keep no Kashmiri students.”
“2700 Kashmiris have left from here. These students have links to Pakistan, terrorists, and separatists. All of them are inter-linked,” added Mr. Verma, and naively explained how their nexus worked.
Responding to the current situation in Dehradun, Mr. Verma said, “Kashmiri students are being forced out of Dehradun right now, what else? They have been taken out of their residences, there are posters around the city: Dogs are allowed, but Kashmiris are not allowed.”
Talking about the incident from Dolphin Institute of Biomedical & Natural Sciences, where reportedly some girls locked themselves inside the hostel, he said, “There was a candle march in solidarity with Pulwama martyrs, they threw stones from their hostel rooms, later paper balls, and shouted anti-India slogans.”
When asked about the presence of mob outside the Dolphin, if any, he said, “People were around the campus in numbers of thousands. The entire area had assembled there. Sloganeering was happening, ‘Kashmirio wapas jao. Pakistan Murdabad’ (Kashmiris go back, down with Pakistan).”
“The the mob did not want any Kashmiri there”
A student pursuing M. Sc. in Microbiology from BFIT, said, “We are in Bhatindi, Jammu right now. We came out of our own, the mob was around in small segments, and for our own safety, we left.” The student, wishing the anonymity told that he will leave for Kashmir valley by today evening, alongside 30 more students.
Another Dehradun-based institute, Alpine, terminated the Kashmir’s Kulgam based, Abid Kuchay, “After the mob threatened to set institution on fire”, and issued a letter that they won’t take any Kashmiri student from next session.
Talking to The Kashmir Walla, Director of of Alpine institute, S. K. Chauhan, confessed that the statement was given under the pressure of the large mob “standing in front of us.” As per Mr. Chauhan, the mob, around 100 to 150 people, said that they refuse to consider the institute ‘Indian’, if they do not abide by the given statement.
“We told them that Kashmir is an integral part of India, and everyone has the same right. We tried explaining to them, but they didn’t get it,” said Mr. Chauhan. He added that every Indian citizen has a right to study in any institute across India, “In that situation who am I to tell them that I won’t let them study here?”
As per Mr. Chauhan, the mob did not want any Kashmiri there, “and then they came to know that Abid Ji is from Kashmir.” The mob demanded the termination of Mr. Kuchay.
Condemning the termination to the highest order, Mr. Chauhan said, “the only fault Abid Ji had was he was from Kashmir. We couldn’t have done anything about it.”
Mr. Verma, Bajrang Dal’s leader mentioned in a very firm voice, “they (institutions) will not keep any Kashmiri, and this is a warning to them. No Kashmiri will be allowed throughout India until (article) 370 is scrapped, and Indians are allowed to go and live there, buy land. We will not allow any Kashmiri to live in Dehradun until every house in Kashmir has a tiranga (Indian flag).”
Praising the efforts of the Uttarakhand police, Mr. Kuchay said that although “Uttrakhand police helped us a lot, and it should be applauded, but if one says that situation is peaceful here, and nothing happened against Kashmiris, then I would disagree. Local mob is tracking them out of their home, and situation is not peaceful here at all.”
Bajrang Dal Convenor threatens The Kashmir Walla
In the second call by this reporter, Mr. Verma threatened the editor of The Kashmir Walla saying, “Oh Fahad [Shah], come here. We will show trailer to you also. Tell your terrorist brothers to behave. Stop making heroes out of terrorists. We are keeping track of your posts.”
Yashraj Sharma is a Features Writer at The Kashmir Walla.