What’s happening at AMU: ‘Feeling unsafe,’ say Kashmiri students after attacks

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After a Kashmiri scholar was beaten up at Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), the campus remains on edge as students from the valley took out a protest march.

The students from Jammu and Kashmir studying at the AMU alleged that they are being discriminated against for no reason.

“J-K students are being discriminated against here,” Zubair Altaf Reshi, a research scholar at the university, told The Kashmir Walla. “When we try to reach university administration for the complaints, they don’t respond well.”

As per the students, the Ph.D. scholar, whose name has not been included in the story, “was trying to sleep” at 1:30 am when he heard noises in the badminton court outside his room.

“He had requested them to keep it low a couple of times but they ignored it,” a student at the university said. “The third time they abused him and thrashed him.”

This is not the first incident of its kind. More so, it is the third incident at the AMU in just over a month. Underlining the paranoia, on 25 December, J-K Students Association tweeted: “Kashmiri students are being repeatedly harassed at AMU. … We are receiving frantic calls from Scholars about harassment & yet another thrashing case today.”

The Home Ministry had issued an advisory in past to take “strict action” against those responsible for such incidents. However, in spite of all the advisories and directions, the harassment continues, the statement from the students’ group added.

Responding to the association’s tweet, Aligarh police said, “the case is being attended by the University’s proctorial team and the law and order situation is normal on the spot.”

Zubair said that the students don’t feel secure anymore. “We can’t say why this is happening. Only university authorities can tell the reason,” he added.

The students from J-K also alleged that UP students “had katte (locally made gun) and they tried to attack us when we were protesting”.

“We have sent the memorandum to university authorities and are waiting for their response,” said Zubair.

Professor Mohammad Waseem Ali, the AMU’s proctor, told The Kashmir Walla that the authorities did not see any guns as there was a lot of chaos during the protest. “If the J-K students have seen such a thing, they can come forward with a complaint and I’ll inquire into the matter. There is no complaint from their end so far.”

He added that the university authorities have received the memorandum and forwarded it to AMU’s Vice-Chancellor. “We have sent it to the VC and we will take action accordingly,” Ali said. “Also, we will be investigating whatever complaint and information we receive.”

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