Assaults by nationalist thugs on Kashmiri students studying in India have gone on for many years but appear to have increased since the brutal military crackdown on the 2016 uprising in Kashmir & since the current lockdown. There have been repeated attacks on Kashmiri students in Bengaluru, Haryana, Jodhpur & Chittorgarh in Rajasthan state. All of the incident reports show the attacks are unprovoked, that the thugs use weapons, operate in groups, & call the Kashmiris terrorists & stone pelters whilst they beat them to a pulp. The attacks are a direct consequence of government attempts to associate Kashmiris with terrorism.

The reports show the refusal of police & university authorities to take the violence seriously or to take legal or punitive action against the perpetrators, essentially using a ‘boys will be boys’ kind of defense & even using drunkenness to excuse the assaults. Media report the assaults as ‘little scuffles’ following ‘altercations’. In one instance, the two Kashmiris were standing at a bus stop. In another, they were cooking beef in their school hostel. In the latest of three incidents at Mewar University in Rajasthan, four Kashmiri students were assaulted by a mob wielding weapons over a gate pass denied a nationalist student. Those are not exactly what are meant by altercations or scuffles. They are unprovoked assaults in a national pattern of assaults on Kashmiri students & other Muslims.

Rajasthan is the same state where last August an Indian court acquitted six nationalist thugs of lynching a 55-year-old Muslim dairy farmer after they stopped his truck with cows in the back even though there was video documentation showing him begging the cow vigilantes for mercy. In coverage of the 2016 & 2017 assaults at Mewar University, it was reported that 500 Kashmiri students attended the university. Coverage of this last assault report there are only 30 Kashmiris attending Mewar. Is the coverage inaccurate or have Kashmiris fled from the school & Rajasthan state in fear for their lives?

The photo is Kashmiri students at Mewar University in April 2017 protesting attacks on six Kashmiri students for being ‘stone-pelters’.

(Photo from HT)