Assaulted Kashmiri students in Chattisgarh feeling unsafe

Assaulted Kashmiri students in Chattisgarh feeling unsafe
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‘Want to return home’

SRINAGAR: At least 32 students undergoing an engineering course though GoI’s Himayat scheme are feeling unsafe and want to return home after they were assaulted by the students from Maharashtra and Bihar in the hostel building of Disha Institute of Management and Engineering Technology at Raipur, Chattisgarh.
The students hail from Bandipora district of Kashmir Valley.
“A minor argument which broke over food platters during dinner was sorted out after the apology but a while later at around 9:15pm as we were preparing to sleep, the students from Maharashtra and Bihar accompanied by outsiders with hockey sticks broke into the third floor where 32 Kashmiri students, all from Bandipora, are accommodated,” a student said.
“Though majority of us managed to flee and hide into the room by blocking the entry till police came, four students were caught unawares, as they were in washrooms and were taken out and beaten”.
The injured students were identified as Faisal, Naveed, Mohsin, and Zahid.
“Students living in the same hostel building in 2nd and 3rd floor also broke windowpanes of the building and threatened us,” a student told Kashmir Reader over phone.
“No one seems to take our statements into consideration and have left us alone. We are feeling threatened and unsafe, even the phone numbers from our coordinators from Himayat in Srinagar are switched off and no one among them is here with us,” he said.
He said the students wanted to return home as they are feeling unsafe.
“They seem to have disowned us, no one is paying any heed to our pleas. They are stating ‘go wherever you want to go’, the situation here is tense and we are feeling unsafe. We have even packed our luggage,” they said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said that the matter has been taken up with District Magistrate and SSP Raipur.
“Matter regarding an alleged assault on students has been taken up with District Magistrate and SSP Raipur. The matter being enquired. Further details/outcome will be shared,” Shahid tweeted.
Condemning the assault, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq wrote, “Strongly condemn the assault on Kashmiri students by goons in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. It’s very disturbing that our students continuously become a target of hate elements. Their safety is the duty of the state.”
Former legislators of Bandipora also expressed concern and demanded the students be provided a safe environment.