Dehradun: In the wake of inflammatory messages posted by a few Kashmiri students following last week’s Pulwama terror attack, the Uttarakhand government has decided to introduce new ‘stringent’ rules for Valley students seeking admission in state universities.
Uttarakhand attracts a large number of students from Jammu and Kashmir. Close to 3,500 students are currently enrolled in private colleges across Dehradun and some are studying in other cities.
Dhan Singh Rawat, higher education minister, told News 18 that officials have been instructed to frame a set of new rules. “We will seek full details from the Jammu and Kashmir authorities about the prospective students – their past and family history etc.,” he said, adding that it will be compulsory for the concerning colleges to get the students’ verification done by the local police.
After the February 14 terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama, which killed 40 soldiers, a student from a private university in Dehradun was suspended by a private university after he allegedly commented during Facebook chat: “Aaj to real PUBG ho gaya (PUBG turned real today)" hours after CRPF jawans were killed in the attack.
He was later arrested under IPC section 505(2). Two more Kashmiris, including a woman student, from different colleges were suspended for their comments expressing solidarity with the terrorists.
Seven more Kashmiri students were suspended by a private university in Roorkee for allegedly posting pro-Pakistan comments in their social media accounts. The university is owned by a relative of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“A committee will seek a reply from the Kashmiri students about their comments on social media,” said Rohan Tyagi from the media cell of Quantum University.
Dehradun has witnessed fierce protests against the Kashmiris, forcing police to provide shelter to the students. Nivedita Kukreti, SSP, Dehradun, has said that people should refrain from taking law into their hands.
On Monday, 22 activists from right-wing groups were arrested for creating ruckus in a private college that has several students from the Valley. A case has also been registered against Jawaharlal University scholar and political activist Shehla Rashid for “spreading rumours and creating panic,” about Kashmiri girls being trapped in a hostel in Dehradun due to fear of local organisations.
Both the major parties of Kashmir – National Conference and People's Democratic Party (PDP) – have also raised their voice in support of the students. A PDP delegation headed by Faiyaz Ahamd Peer met the students in Dehradun on Tuesday and expressed ‘satisfaction’ on the support provided by the local administration.