Kashmir

Punjab College Attack: CMO Intervenes, Orders Action Against Accused

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by Maleeha Sofi

SRINAGAR: In a disturbing incident that took place at the Doaba Group of Colleges in the Kharar area of Mohali, Punjab, a group of Kashmiri students were brutally attacked, leaving two of them critically injured. The assault occurred during a fresher’s party hosted by the Kashmiri students when a group of aggressors attempted to forcefully enter the venue.

According to reports, a teacher from the college attempted to reason with a group of individuals accused of assaulting Kashmiri students, but was met with violent abuse. The situation quickly spiraled out of control when the group of aggressors later entered the hostel mess where the Kashmiri students were having dinner. Shocking CCTV footage has emerged on the internet, showing the aggressors storming into the hostel mess armed with rods and other weapons, and attacking the Kashmiri students. The accused group is believed to include both students and local residents.

Despite widespread condemnation, the attack on Kashmiri students has been described as a random act and not targeted based on their identity. Out of the five students who sustained injuries, two – Irshad Ahmed Khan and Faiz – are said to be in critical condition. An FIR has been filed at the Sadar Kharar police station, under IPC Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons) and 149 (unlawful assembly), among others. The number of accused is said to be 26 out of whom 6 have been identified as Jasvir Singh, Harmanjot Singh, Amarinder Singh, Jashan, Likhnesh Gautam and Sodha Ram. While one of the accused has been arrested so far, further efforts and investigation is underway.

Adil Yousuf Bhat, the North-Zone District President of the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association, has informed the association members that he received an anonymous phone call from an individual claiming to be from Doaba Group of Colleges. The caller allegedly reported oversight of the matter by the college administration. “I received a call from an unknown number. Kashmiri students were attacked and beaten by some locals and are currently in hospital but the college authority is silent and immediate help is needed,” Bhat said.

Two days after attack, the Punjab chief minister’s office (CMO) on Sunday directed the police to nab the culprits swiftly. The directions came after the national convener of the Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Association (JKSA), Nasir Khuehami, took up the matter with Baltej Pannu, the media adviser to the Punjab chief minister.

Nasir, in a tweeted statement expressed gratitude towards the Punjab CM’s office for taking notice of the situation. The tweet read, “I thank Punjab CM and his Media Advisor for personal intervention in Kharar Mohali incident where 5 Kashmiri students were injured after being attacked in hostel mess. One person has been detained and FIR under IPC Section 307, 148 and 149 registered against 26 accused. Chief Minister’s office ensured that action will be taken against those found intimidating students from Kashmir valley. These incidents will not be tolerated at any cost.”

The tweet further read, “There is no such issue related to the beating of students on the basis of being Kashmiri. We have requested CM office, Punjab to take appropriate measures for instilling a sense of security among the students studying in the state and ensure that no student is harmed or harassed.”

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( With inputs from : kashmirlife.net )

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