People’s Union for Democratic Rights expresses outrage over the terrorist attack in Pulwama which killed over 40 CRPF personnel on February 14, 2019 and expresses condolences to the families of the deceased. However, the aftermath of Pulwama has shown rising attacks on Kashmiris in different states, a situation which is extremely worrisome and dangerous, despite a notification advisory by the Home Ministry to all states to ensure the safety of Kashmiris.
- Four Kashmiri women students of NIMS University, Jaipur were suspended over their social media posts on Pulwama on February 16, 2019.
- One Kashmiri woman student was suspended from her college in Dehra Dun over her social media tweet on February 16, 2019.
- Two Kashmiri male students studying in a private college in Dehra Dun were suspended over their social media posts and many were threatened by members of the VHP and Bajrang Dal. As many as 12 were beaten up after they were returning from their Friday Namaz on February 15, 2019.
- A Kashmiri male student was suspended from AMU following a social media tweet on February 15.
- Mobs in Jammu town attacked Kashmiris living in Janipur area, despite curfew on February 15. Ten cars belonging to Muslims were burnt to ashes whilst 80 others were damaged. The police, it is alleged, was a mute spectator.
Reports of harassment in Haryana have also been reported. These are not stray incidents but are part of a targeted attacks against Kashmiri Muslims. However, in the last few days, even non-Kashmiris have been handed suspension orders because of their differing views on Pulwama. An employee in a private pharmaceutical company, an assistant professor in a private college in Guwahati and a Deputy News Editor in a well-known news channel have been suspended for their posts over Pulwama.
In short, Pulwama is fast becoming the touchstone of patriotism and has already generated a dangerous communal fabric. Within such a fabric, the space for debate, dissent and dialogue is unavailable and anyone who holds a contrary ‘view’ is being punished.
PUDR expresses its concerns and apprehensions over this rising tide of nationalism carried out in the name of Pulwama. PUDR condemns the knee-jerk reaction of suspensions which are being summarily handed to students and employees.
Shahana Bhattacharya and Deepika Tandon
17 Feb 2019