Kashmiris attacked in India’s Chandigarh college

SPCET principal admits ‘minor nature’ injuries to Kashmiri students

CHANDIGARH, India – In yet another incident related to cricket, at least half a dozen Kashmiri students sustained injuries after Indian students and residents allegedly thrashed them at the Swami Parmanand College of Engineering & Technology (SPCET) in Chandigarh, forcing them to flee.

The Kashmiri students were watching cricket match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the hostel room, when the Indian students thrashed them. “Around 9pm, we were watching Pakistan’s match in Block A of the college hostel when around 80 Indian students barged into our block and started thrashing us ruthlessly,” said a BTech student.

“The reason for their aggression against us was Pakistan’s match. They didn’t like it. It was intolerable for them to see us watching the match,” the Kashmiri student said. Following the incident, the hostel’s warden and police rushed to the spot and directed the Kashmiri students to remain in their rooms. “We obeyed their order,” the students said.

“At 12am, around 25 masked men, holding iron rods and sticks, barged into our block and beat us mercilessly. They also broke glasses of windows. These people were not students but outsiders,” the students said. They said that the thrashing incidents led to injuries to at least six students who belong to Indian-held Kashmir. “Fortunately, no one among us sustained head injuries,” they said.

“The police arrived again and detained four students, however, they were freed later,” said a student from Jammu. Following the attacks, the students requested the college authorities to return their documents so that they could go back to their homes in the disputed state of Jammu Kashmir. “We felt insecure in the institution,” he said.

About 250 to 300 students from Indian-held Jammu Kashmir are studying in the college and 90 per cent are admitted here under a government scheme. College principal Jyoti Kaul Matto said that there was a ‘minor scuffle’ between the students and claimed it has no connection with the cricket match. She admitted that there were injuries to the students but of ‘minor nature.’

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