Srinagar: A case has been filed before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to inquire into the whereabouts of a Kashmiri student who has been missing since October 28 from the campus of Sharda University at Greater Noida.
Advocate Syed Mujtaba and Mirza Jahanzeb Beg filed the case in the NHRC on Thursday over the mysterious disappearance of Ehtisham Bilal, a first-year student of Bachelors in Medical Imaging Technology (BMIT) and a resident of Khanyar area of Srinagar. He enrolled in Sharda University three months ago and lived in the varsity’s hostel at Knowledge Park area in Greater Noida. As per reports, Ehtisham was brutally beaten up by some local students on October 4 in the university campus.
The family of Ehtisham held a protest at Lal Chowk Srinagar on Thursday. The ailing mother of the student appealed to the authorities to find her son immediately.
Advocate Syed Mujtaba and Mirza Jahanzeb Beg stated before the NHRC that a growing number of Kashmir students were being attacked and harassed in Indian colleges and universities.
“There have been various cases of students disappearing from universities and colleges and it is not known whether they are alive or dead. The media has created a dangerous image of Kashmir in India which leads to hate crimes against the Kashmiri students in Indian universities,” the activists said in their petition.
They added, “Rising intolerance, culture of mob lynching, religious fanaticism, pseudo nationalism, and Islamophobia has further escalated the situation. Moreover, there are reports that universities are being asked by the investigation agencies to submit the profiles of Kashmiri students, which further isolates them and is very unfair. This gives the impression that the goons, communal forces, and government agencies are on the same page regarding their opinion about Kashmiri students.
“We are concerned about the safety of our children and urge the Government to form a committee to address the grievances of Kashmiri students and to trace the missing students, ensure their security, and take strict action against the culprits involved in any kind of harassment or hate crime against the students. We demand that MHA and HRD must ensure the safety of Kashmiri students in different states of India. Inquiry should be initiated in case if there is any negligence from the side of investigating authorities or management of the concerned universities.”
The activists said they will also write to international human rights monitoring agencies to demand that the Indian government take immediate action on the issue of Kashmiri students and on Ehtisham’s case in particular.