Two months after 60 Kashmiri students were suspended from Meerut University for allegedly cheering for Pakistan cricket team during a match against India and sedition charges filed against them, three students from the Valley have been once again abused and thrashed by fellow hostellers in Greater Noida, UP, in the wee hours on Sunday.
The three students of Noida International University (NIU) stay in a private hostel with students of several universities. They were allegedly forced to shout slogans against Pakistan. When they refused, they were roundly beaten up.
On Sunday, 100-odd Kashmiri students protested outside the NIU registrar's office, demanding security for them. "The incident took place around 2.30am on Sunday when six students from the same hostel but a different university barged into our room and told us to say 'India Zindabad and Pakistan Murdabad'. When we refused, they called us terrorists and started thrashing us," said one of the three students.
The three, who were living in the private hostel in Sector-5 (1) in Greater Noida, have now been moved to another hostel. This happened after the intervention of UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
On Monday J&K's resident commissioner, Lokesh Kumar Jha, met the students, the police and several university officials before assuring the students of safe stay. "All issues have been resolved with the help of the police. The students have been shifted to another hostel. Although the culprits weren't arrested as we don't want to spoil their lives," said registrar, NIU, Devdutta Sharma.
Social media played a vital role in highlighting the issue.
The victims of the attack said this was the first time in three years something like this had happened. "We are third-year B Tech students and past three years have been quite good here. We never faced such kind of behaviour. Our parents have asked us to return home but as exams are drawing near, we have decided to stay put. University acted swiftly to ensure our security," said the student.
Meanwhile, the J&K Police said that the matter had been taken up with counterparts in Noida who have assured them that steps would be taken to ensure the safety of Kashmiri students. "We have taken up the matter at officers and thana level with the Noida police and they assured us that matter would be sorted out... They assured us that the Noida police would ensure the safety of all these students," a top police official said.