An unprecedented situation is emerging in the Valley as Kashmiris, especially students and businessmen are complaining of being attacked in various states of the country in the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attack.
Kashmir Valley observed a complete strike on Sunday as Kashmir Traders Federation has given a call to protest against attacks on Kashmiris in Jammu and other parts of the country.
With politicians, police and media persons getting calls from desperate students and businessmen that they be rescued, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday met the Union Home Minister in New Delhi and sought his intervention.
Sehrish, 25, a student from Kashmir, studying in Dehradun earlier in the day, said that they were attacked by the mob and asked to leave immediately. "We do not know where to go. We are inside the hostel and outside the mob has gathered. They are shouting slogans against us and giving us threats. We do not know what will happen. We want to go home but don't know how we will go. Some of us have not even told our families,” she said adding that some fellow students from other states were protecting them from the mob.
Another student said that they were thrashed and forced out of their rented accommodation. " We are hiding. The atmosphere is very fearful. We fear we might be attacked outside, " he said.
"The landlord told us to leave else his house will be brunt".
In the summer capital of the State, Jammu, in spite of the curfew being in place, a number of quarters belonging to Kashmiris were attacked in Janipur area. The residents in the government quarters complained that they were attacked by the mobs and the police acted as a mute spectator. Curfew was imposed in Jammu on Friday after dozens of vehicles were torched by the protesters in Gujjar Nagar area.
The students from Kashmir at Ambala also said that they were being told to vacate the rented accommodations.
"We are in a panic. They are calling us terrorists and blaming us for the Pulwama attack. Now we have been inside a hostel by the administration and security has been called in, " said a student from North Kashmir.
"We left all our belongings at the places where we were studying. We do not know what have we done. We are being targeted deliberately".
Tanveer Sadiq, political secretary to Omar Abdullah said the distress calls he is getting from different parts of the country from Kashmiris, especially students are worrying. “I fear this shouldn’t turn into something worse,” he said.
“I had taken up the matter with DGP Uttarakhand. He issued directions to the field officers to take care of the security of students from Kashmir,” the Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said in a statement.
“A helpline is set up at PCR Srinagar and PCR Jammu. Some Kashmiri people came by train today. Police facilitated their shifting and lodgment at Bathindi. Entire Jammu remained peaceful during the day except for a minor issue at Janipora in the morning. Movement of some stranded Kashmiri people to Srinagar is also being arranged,” the State police chief said.
“Intimidating harassing Kashmiris - get your arithmetics rights if u can’t get ur ethics right. Have u ever counted the numbers of Kashmiris who have laid down their lives for the sake of the nation? It is in tens of thousands and that is what u call to sacrifice,” Peoples Conference leader Sajad Gani Lone tweeted.
Intimidating harassing Kashmiris - get your arithmetics rights if u can’t get ur ethics right. Have u ever counted the numbers of Kashmiris who have laid down their lives for the sake of the nation. It is in tens of thousands And that is what u call sacrifice.— Sajad Lone (@sajadlone) February 17, 2019
While as former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said he met the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to personally pay his condolences for the tragic deaths in Pulwama on Thursday. “I requested him to take all steps necessary to ensure Jammu remains calm,” Omar Abdullah tweeted.
“I took the opportunity to inform Rajnath Singh of the reports I had received of Kashmiri students & others being threatened/harassed and requested him to appoint a modal officer in @HMOIndia to ensure the directive issued to states is followed in letter & spirit,” he tweeted.
I took the opportunity to inform @rajnathsingh Sb of the reports I had received of Kashmiri students & others being threatened/harassed and requested him to appoint a modal officer in @HMOIndia to ensure the directive issued to states is followed in letter & spirit.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 16, 2019
“Young Kashmiri students studying outside J&K should have been feted as examples of people who have stayed away from the politics & conflict in Kashmir, choosing instead to make a future for themselves,” Omar said.
Young Kashmiri students studying outside J&K should have been feted as examples of people who have stayed away from the politics & conflict in Kashmir, choosing instead to make a future for themselves.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 17, 2019
“By attacking them, terrorising them & forcing them to find the shelter they are being told there is no place for them outside the valley & no future in the mainland,” Omar added.
By attacking them, terrorising them & forcing them to find shelter they are being told there is no place for them outside the valley & no future in the mainland.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 17, 2019
Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that he is deeply distressed by reports of continued attacks on Kashmiri’s in Jammu and other places by “communal goons let loose.” “Those in charge are obliged to ensure the safety and security of Kashmiri’s is not compromised with at a time when anti-Kashmir rhetoric has been ratcheted up,” he said.
While as London based Kashmiri novelist, Waheed Mirza says, “The venom on the streets was brewed in some TV studios.”