Srinagar: Kolkata police is asking all colleges in the city to give details of students hailing from Jammu and Kashmir. The direction comes in the wake of student protests at Jadavpur University against the arrest of JNU students in Delhi.
A note from the police, addressed to principals of the colleges reads: “Please let me know that students, whose residential addresses is under the State of Jammu & Kashmir, studies in your Institution for onwards transmission to the Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block, New Delhi, Govt. of India (sic).”
The note is signed by the police officer in charge of intelligence at the police station in which the college falls. It was sent out to colleges in the last week of February when students were protesting both at JNU and at Jadavpur University. Asked about the survey, Joint Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) Pallav Kanti Ghosh said that the information about the note is “authentic.”
Asked why it was being done, he declined to comment.
Senior police officers said that the request for these details had come from central intelligence agencies which asked the Special Branch of Kolkata police to get the details. “It’s an attempt to create dossiers on J&K students so that we can monitor their activities,” said a top police officer. “This is something new, we are doing this for the first time.”
A Union Home Ministry spokesman, while commenting on the issue, said: “Following the JNU controversy, the Centre had sensitised all states to take adequate precautionary measures to avoid a repeat of such incidents, and a general advisory was issued to all states.”
Look into order: Omar to Mamta
Following the direction of the Kolkata police to various colleges about details of students about students from J&K, former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday urged West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, to look into reports.
“Dear @MamataOfficial, can you please look in to this police order? Info gathering shouldn’t become harassment,” Omar wrote on Twitter. Omar also drew the attention of Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien on the issue. “Why are these students being singled out? Omar added.
IJT demands end to ‘selective profiling’
Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba Jammu Kashmir (IJT-JK) has demanded end to what it termed as “selective profiling” of Kashmiri students by Kolkata Police.
IJT, in a statement issued here, said, “As reported in media, Kolkata Police has asked educational institutions to submit details of students from Jammu and Kashmir to it for onward transmission to union home ministry. This selective profiling calls for strong condemnation from the student community of Jammu and Kashmir as it instills a sense of fear and insecurity among them and impedes their zeal and enthusiasm for higher education.”
“As representatives of students of Jammu and Kashmir, IJT-JK demands immediate end to such racial profiling and any such vindictive move should be strictly discouraged in the future. It is unfortunate that Kashmiri students are living under intense fear psychosis across India due to harassment by various state agencies as well as non-state actors,” it said.
“Government of India should ensure safety of Kashmiri students and any move to harm them will have serious repercussions. People at the helm of affairs in J&K should also take the issue seriously and ensure every student from the state lives peacefully,” the student organisation said.