Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday asked states to ensure that Kashmiri students studying in different universities across the country, and people from the state in general, were safe wherever they went, reported NDTV. His reaction came in the backdrop of widespread hostility against people from the Valley who are living in different states in the country.

“I appeal to the chief ministers of all states to ensure that such incidents don’t happen, they are equal citizens of India, they have also greatly contributed to national security,” Singh said. “I appeal to all youngsters to treat them as their brothers, they are Indian citizens and members of our family.” He said his ministry would also issue an advisory about the same.

On Wednesday, a group of students from Kashmir studying at the Mewar University of Chittorgarh was attacked by locals while they were shopping at a market. The police said a group of residents approached the students and asked them their names and where they were from. Upon learning that the students were from Kashmir, they started beating them up. The students suffered minor injuries in the incident. The police on Friday arrested two youths in connection with the incident.

On Thursday, a right-wing group called Uttar Pradesh Nav Nirman Sena put up billboards against “Kashmiris who pelt stones” at jawans, reported Hindustan Times. “Boycott those Kashmiris who pelt stones atthe Indian Army. Kashmiris leave UP or....” read a hoarding. The billboards have been taken down by the local administration and the police have filed a complaint against the chief of the outfit.

This comes only days after videos from the Valley surfaced showing clashes between security personnel and locals. While one video shows youths attacking an Army jawan, in another, a civilian is seen tied to the hood of an Army jeep and taken around a locality in Kashmir to deter stone-pelters. The Army has ordered a court of inquiry into the “human shield” incident.