A group of unidentified people assaulted two students from Jammu and Kashmir after they left a mosque in Haryana’s Mahendragarh after Friday prayers, The Indian Express reported. Three accused have been arrested.

The students have been identified as 23-year-old Aftab Ahmad and 22-year-old Amjad Ali, who are studying Geography at the Central University of Haryana. They hail from Rajouri in Jammu.

The students alleged they were followed by men on two-wheelers as they made their way back to the university campus. The men caught up with them and beat them up.

“They started beating us for no reason,” Aftab told The Indian Express. “The police reached the spot after the locals called them. They [police] dropped us in the hospital and left.” Aftab claimed that when they approached the university authorities they told them the incident did not happen in the campus.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti demanded action against the accused. “Shocked and disturbed to hear reports of Kashmiri students being assaulted in Mahendargarh, Haryana,” Mufti tweeted and tagged Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. “I urge the authorities to investigate and take strict action.”

Three people have been arrested, Khattar said in his reply to Mufti on Twitter. “[The] guilty will be punished,” Khattar tweeted. “The incident had started with the their motorcycles colliding.”

The students alleged that the police had initially refused to file an FIR in the case and did so only after their university proctor intervened, News18 reported.

Mahendragarh’s Deputy Superintendent of Police refuted claims of a “Kashmir angle” to the attack. “The students were not targeted because of their identity,” the official told News18.

Peoples Democratic Party’s youth wing president Waheed ur Rehman Para told the English daily that the that Jammu and Kashmir government was collaborating with the Haryana government to ensure the safety of students.

One of the victims after the alleged attack. Photo courtesy: Rehan Andrabi
Jammu and Kashmir student Aftab Ahmad addressing reporters after the alleged attack. (Credit: Rehan Andrabi)