Srinagar: The brutal murder of a young techie in Pune city has instilled fear among hundreds of Kashmiri students and professionals, who are working and pursuing higher studies in various professional colleges and universities there.
28-year-old Mohsin Sadiq Sheikh, a software professional was bludgeoned to death on Monday night by members of a radical Hindu outfit Hindu Rashtra Sena at Banker Colony, Hadapsar when he was returning from mosque with his cousin Riyaz. Riyaz escaped unhurt after he managed to flee from the spot while two others—Ameen Shaikh, 30, and Ijaz Yusuf Bagwan, 25,–sustained injuries in the attacks triggered apparently by uploading of morphed pictures of warrior king Shivaji and late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Facebook.
“Rightwing Hindu groups have a strong base here in Pune. Fear and insecurity has gripped Kashmiris like me who are undergoing studies at various educational institutions. We’re scared to move out of our hostels and rented apartments,” a final year law student, wishing not to be named, told Kashmir Reader over phone from Pune on Thursday.
He said that whenever communal tension erupts in the town, the Kashmiri students and professionals reel under constant threat of attacks. He said the murder of Mohsin over a Facebook post has sent shivers down the spine of Kashmiris.
“We’re soft targets for Hindutva groups in any part of India. We have been getting frequent calls from our worried families. The situation is very tense. And the Indian media has blacked out the news of rampage by HRS goons,” he added.
A B Tech student said the situation is more tense in the communally sensitive areas of Hadapsar, Pimpri, Satara, Nigdi and other areas of the city, where students study in Symbiosis, Bharatiya Vidya Peth, Law College, Pune University and other educational institutes.
“We would go to malls and multiplexes after day long studies to relax. However, the communal tension has forced us indoors. We’re cautiously reacting to the emerging situation,” he added.
Besides students, Kashmiri professionals are also bearing the brunt of the Hindu zealots, who have reportedly attacks mosques and Islamic seminaries in the city.
“Threat is looming large over Muslims, especially Kashmiris. The radical Hindu activists are very angry over the morphed images of their leaders. In such a tense situation, we can do nothing but stay indoors,” a software engineer, hailing from south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, told Kashmir Reader.
On Sunday, he said, he ventured out of his rented place in Chandan Nagar locality only to witnesses the HRS activists going on rampage. He said, he quickly returned to his apartment to save himself from the wrath of the zealots.
“Fear psychosis has gripped us. My non-Muslim friends are in constant touch with me. They keep enquiring about my well being. They’re more worried about me,” he said.
“We’ll wait and watch the situation for some days. If it doesn’t get better, we’ll return home for some time,” he added.