Haryana Police on Saturday arrested three people accused of assaulting two Kashmiri students in Mahendragarh town of state on Friday afternoon.
District Commissioner of Mahendragarh, Garami Mittal, told Kashmir Reader that the three accused were arrested within 24 hours after police complaint was registered by the victims. “Based on a CCTV footage police identified the accused persons out of which three have been arrested,” she said. “The other three people will be arrested soon as Inspector General of Police Haryana is following the case seriously.”
On Friday afternoon two Kashmiri students, Aftab Ahmad and Amjad Ali, pursuing Msc Geography from Haryana’s Central University, came under attack by “over a dozen local residents of Haryana” when the duo were coming out of a local mosque after Friday prayers.
The students had received injuries on their face and body.
Mittal told Kashmir Reader that the incident happed due to the mistaken identity.
“Two of the accused were passing through the congested road on a bike when they had a scuffle with five people belonging to Uttar Pradesh,” she said adding, “These two (accused) had disappeared from the site after a brief scuffle and returned along with the four other friends.”
All the six accused, Mittal said, attacked Kashmiri students mistaking them for accompanies of the residents they had scuffle with.
“These Kashmiri students were passing through the area when they came under attack due to mistaken identity,” she said. “The accused persons were beating those five people and felt these Kashmiri students were accompanying them.”
When asked why Haryana government has identified only six people when the victims claimed they were attacked by over a dozen people, Mittal replied, “The primary investigation of Police so far as has revealed only six persons while further investigations are still going on.”
Mittal said that Haryana government is ready to provide any kind of assistance to the victims.
“We have said that we will be providing medical assistance to the victims,” she said. “We even have given them our contact numbers in order to get any kind of assistance.”
Prior to the arrests Haryana Police Chief, B.S Sandhu, told Kashmir Reader everyone involved in the attack would be booked. “The investigations are on. Soon everyone will be booked and punished,” Sandhu said.
Several politician including Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, had expressed shock over the incident and requested the Haryana government to investigate and take strict action against the culprits.
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, took to micro-blogging site Twitter saying she was shocked and disturbed to hear that Kashmiri students were assaulted in Haryana. “I urge the authorities to investigate & take strict action,” Mufti had requested Haryana government through a tweet.
Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah had reacted sharply over the incident saying such incidents are bound to drive young Kashmiri youth away from the national mainstream. “This hyper-nationalism built around the propaganda that all Kashmiris are terrorists & stone pelters will drive young Kashmiris further away from the national mainstream,” he said on Twitter.
Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM chief, also condemned the attack and blamed the Haryana government for failing to provide safety to people in the state. “Khattar administration failed in living up to its constitutional responsibility of providing security to people in Haryana. Two Kashmiri students were deliberately targeted after they came out of a mosque. I strongly condemn this,” Owaisi was quoted by ANI.
“Kashmir is integral part of India and it will always be. What message are we sending? What crime have they done? Who are the vigilantes to target them? Govt is following its ideology instead of providing security to people,” he said.