Attack on Kashmiri students – Pune University issues guidelines to colleges

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Sumit Singh

Pune, March 2, 2019 – In order to assure Kashmiri students of their safety in the wake of attacks on Kashmiris in different parts of the country after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred, the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, has written to all the universities to take steps regarding safety of the Kashmiri students.

Accordingly, the Savitribai Phule Pune Univesity (SPPU) on March 1 wrote to all heads of the departments (HODs) in the university as well as principals of the affiliated colleges, to take steps in this regard. The SPPU, one of the premier universities in India, is positioned in the North-western part of Pune city, on Ganeshind Road. It occupies an area of about 411 acres. The university houses 46 academic departments. It has about 307 recognized research institutes and 612 affiliated colleges offering graduate and under-graduate courses.

Officials said that in Pune, there has been no attack on any Kashmir student.

The letter issued by the UGC secretary on February 22 states, “In the context of reports being received through various media regarding the safety of students from Kashmir studying in various higher educational institutions, all Universities and colleges affiliated to them are advised to ensure the safety and protection of the students on the campus. They may keep a watch on the situation and seek support of law and order machinery in case of any untoward incident. Keeping in view the position stated above, you are requested to look into the matter personally for the safety of the students and maintaining peace and harmony in the Universitv/Colleges.”

Earlier, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued advisory to all the states in this regard. “The Government is concerned at the reports of incidents of assaults and harassment against residents of Jammu & Kashmir, especially students in some parts of the country, in the aftermath of the Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir) terror attack of 14th February, 2019. In this regard, an Advisory dated 16.02.2019 was issued to all State Governments and Union Territory Administrations to take necessary steps to ensure safety and security of the persons belonging to Jammu and Kashmir. This issue was also raised before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 60/2019 and the Court vide its Order dated 22.02.2019 has inter alia directed that the Nodal Officers appointed by the States/UTs for the safety and security of residents of Jammu & Kashmir would take necessary steps to prevent acts of violence, discrimination and other coercive acts against Kashmiris (including students enrolled with the institutions in the respondent States and the Union Territories) and other minorities in the wake of the terrorist attack dated 14.02.2019. State Governments and Union Territory Administrations and the Nodal Officers appointed by them are once again advised to take all necessary steps to prevent any act of assault, threat, intimidation, social boycott etc. against Kashmiris (including students) as well as minorities in accordance with the aforesaid Order of the Supreme Court. The name of Nodal Officer may be given wide publicity within your State/UT”, the MHA letter states.