“You are a terrorist, you spread terrorism”: Kashmiri student alleges harassment in Delhi

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A Kashmiri woman living in New Delhi has alleged that she was called a terrorist by her landlady during an argument over a rent dispute over the apartment in south Delhi’s East of Kailash neighbourhood. The woman has also alleged that the landlady trespassed into and vandalised her apartment in her absence.

The 22-year-old woman from Srinagar, Noor Bhat, told The Kashmir Walla, over the phone from New Delhi, that it was the second time in a month that she was harassed. “Last month, the landlady sent a man to harass us,” she said. “We were harassed by an elderly man who also tampered with our [electricity] metre. We had filed a complaint against him in the police station [but] the man was elderly and had sought forgiveness, so we forgave him.”

Ms. Noor, who recently graduated from the Amity University and lives with her sister, also alleged that the landlady had barged into her flat in her absence and took out her furniture and other belongings, including her passport and clothes. “I was at my cousin’s place in Kalkaji at that time,” she said, perceivably distubed. “When we reached home we found that the door had been broken.”

The landlady, according to Ms. Noor, had come with a police constable and an unknown male. “We told her you are our landlady, we would speak with you only. Send this man away first,” Ms. Noor said, adding that this had agitated the landlady who, then, allegedly resorted to racial, political and ethnic slurs. “You are a terrorist, you spread terrorism. Your father is a terrorist. Mulle Kashmiri,” Ms. Noor quoted the landlady having shouted at her.

The landlady, according to Ms. Noor, also grabbed her by her shoulder and inflicted injuries on her body and pulled her by her hair. “I was deeply hurt by this behaviour,” she also told Clarion India, alleging, “It looked like a hate crime.”

The Delhi Police has now registered a case under sections 448, 380, 457, 323, and 509 of Indian Penal Code on the complaint made by the Ms. Noor. The landlady also filed a written complaint. Cops say the dispute over rent and non-payment of electricity bill had come up earlier too.

Later, on Thursday, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) took a suo motu cognisance of Ms. Noor’s s complaint. Swati Malliwal, the Chairperson DCW, issued notice to Delhi Police over the issue, reviewed by The Kashmir Walla.

Shortly after the incident on Wednesday, 14 October, Ms. Noor posted a series of tweets on social media narrating her ordeal. The tweets were shared widely and drew support from a cross section of the public.

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