A Kashmiri doctor, who has been living in Kolkata for 22 years, has claimed that he has been asked to leave the city or face "dire consequences" following the Pulwama terror strike that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF men.
The doctor, however, has decided to stay put after the West Bengal government came to his rescue.
The doctor, who did not wish to be named, said he was heckled but he had not paid much heed to the threats he had received initially. However, his concern grew when some men gathered outside his residence and threatened to harm his daughter unless he "returned to Pakistan".
On February 15, a day after the Pulwama attack, five men aged between 20 and 25 years came to his house after he returned home from his chamber, the doctor said, adding that they asked him to leave the city immediately and "go back to Pakistan as Kashmiris have no place in this country".
"I was heckled by those men and threatened with dire consequences. Initially, I ignored those threats as I had never faced such a situation here in 22 years. The next morning, while I was leaving for my hospital, I again saw those men standing outside my house. They threatened me and said If I did not leave the city, my daughter would pay a heavy price," he said.
The doctor admitted that this time the threats sounded more serious and he even made up his mind to leave. However, before preparing to leave the city that he has grown so fond of, the doctor tried reaching the West Bengal government as a last resort.
"I decided to inform Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee regarding the incident through social media platforms and posted a message on Facebook. I also left a message on the chief minister's Facebook page," he said.
The next day, the doctor received a call from the chairperson of the West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
The official assured him of all help, he said.
When PTI contacted Ananya Chakraborti, Chairperson of the West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, she said all steps were taken to ensure that the doctor's family did not face any difficulty.
"I had called the doctor after I came to know about his Facebook post. I told him not to worry and everything will be taken care of. Police protection has been provided to the family," she said.
The doctor and his family were provided with round-the-clock police protection, Chakraborti said, adding that officers of the nearby police station were calling him regularly to ensure his well being.
"Initially, after the threat, I had decided to go back to Kashmir. But after receiving support from my neighbours and the administration, I have decided to stay back. The kind of love and respect I have received in Kolkata is unimaginable," the doctor said.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine