The Chittorgarh Police in Rajasthan have arrested four students for beating up four Kashmiri students at Mewar University in the city on Friday, The Times of India reported on Sunday.
Additional Superintendent of Police Sarita Singh sacked Gangrar Station House Officer Labhu Ram Bishnoi from his post for alleged negligence in handling the matter. Bishnoi allegedly did not act immediately on the complaint filed by the university in the case.
Udaipur Range Inspector General of Police Binita Thakur told The Times of India that the arrested students were not local residents but were from Bihar. On Friday evening, all the arrested students were released on bail.
Trouble erupted when security at the university premises issued a gate pass to a Kashmiri student, but denied it to a student from Bihar, The Wire reported. “The student from Bihar, while arguing with the security guard about denying him a gate pass, abused the Kashmiri student,” the first information report in the case read. “When the Kashmiri students got to know about it, the two groups of students clashed with each other.”
Bilal Ahmad, one of the four Kashmiri students beaten up, told the news website that the Bihar students behaved very rudely with them, and even called them “terrorists”. The university dean intervened to settle the clash.
However, on Friday night, the Kashmiri students were once again attacked, The Wire reported. “Those students had planned the attack,” Ahmad said. “They came after us with rods in their hands. They also threw stones on the grilled window panes of the security room where we were stationed.”
The station house officer refused to accept an application from the Kashmiri students. However, he came to the university and warned the Bihari students of possible action. The FIR was filed on Saturday.
Later that night, the university administration relocated Kashmiri students to a nearby hostel. Around 30 students from Jammu and Kashmir are studying at the college.
One of the students, Tahir Majeed from Kashmir’s Handwara, was seriously injured in the attacks and three received minor wounds, according to The Wire.
“A vicious campaign against Kashmiris is being run in the country and we condemn it in the harshest words,” Nasir Khuehami, spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Association, told The Wire. “Such incidents further contribute to alienating the Kashmiri youth.”
There have been several incidents of attacks on Kashmiri students around the country, following the Pulwama attack in February and then after the Indian government’s decision on August 5 to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. In February, the University Grants Commission had asked vice chancellors of all universities affiliated to it to ensure the safety and security of Kashmiri students on their campuses.