4 Kashmiri students held on ‘beef charges’ released

4 Kashmiri students held on ‘beef charges’ released

Srinagar: A day after Kashmiri students studying in a private university in Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh district Rajasthan were attacked by a mob over alleged ‘beef consumption’ and four of them were detained by police, a forensic report on Wednesday confirmed that the students had not consumed beef. All the four were then released by the police, according to a local news agency.
Station House Officer Gangrar, Labhu Ram was quoted as saying that they had sent meat samples for a forensic lab test on Tuesday to ‘check whether it is really beef or not’. “However, today we received its report and the report states that the meat is not beef,” he said.
After confirmation, the police officer said, four students hailing from Kashmir have been released. “There was no reason for us to keep them in custody and all of them have been released,” he said. The four students are Saqib Ashraf, Hilal Farooq, Mohammad Maqbool and Showkat Ali.
When asked whether police would initiate action against the attackers who pelted stones on Kashmiri students’ rooms, the officer said they have filed a case against those involved in the stone-pelting.
Meanwhile, a student of the varsity said that the management of Mewar University has directed Kashmiri students not venture outside their hostel. “They have been virtually detained. Though tensions have subsided, fear continues to prevail (sic). The students fear renewed attacks,” he said.
Parents of some students who are studying in Mewar varsity, while expressing concern over the attack on their wards, appealed to state authorities to intervene in the matter and ensure the security of their children.
The Kashmiri students had been arrested on charges of ‘disturbing public peace’ following rumours that they had cooked beef in their hostel room. Sources said that the rumour was spread by some other students from J&K, who were backed by workers of a right-wing organisation.
Police said the students were allegedly manhandled by some colleagues and locals after the rumours spread, but prima facie evidence had suggested the meat found was not beef. Police then rushed to the site and arrested four students under section 151 of IPC (disturbance of public peace). “They were questioned about their role in bringing the meat to the hostel and cooking it,” SHO Gangrar Police Station Labhu Ram said.
Public Relations Officer of the university said meat is not allowed in the campus. “Cooking meat is against our policy. Police is investigating the case and during the initial probe, it was clear that the substance was not beef,” Harish Gurnani, PRO of the autonomous university said.
He said the hostellers involved in the matter were undergraduates. Sources said most of the Kashmiri students locked themselves inside the rooms when the mob attacked them.

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