Amid concerns for their safety that are forcing them to return home, loss of academics is weighing heavy on the minds of Kashmiri students who are leaving for Jammu from Mohali in batches.
Kashmiri students had taken shelter in Mohali following alleged retaliatory attacks on them in Ambala and Dehradun after the fidayeen killing of 40 CRPF men in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on February 14.
While most of them left for Jammu on Monday, 110 reached the Phase 3B1 gurdwara on early Tuesday morning, and left for Jammu in tempo travellers in the afternoon. More will be reaching the city in the coming days.
“I am forced to leave the college mid-term as the management is not ready to take responsibility of our safety. How will we complete our studies? It had been just 15 days since the commencement of our term. Now, we will lose on both studies and attendance,” said Sajad Ahmad, hailing from Sopore in Kashmir, who is pursuing MBA in Dehradun.
Sharing the panic among Kashmiri students, Sabzar Ahmad Wani hailing from Kishtwar, who reached Mohali on Tuesday afternoon from Dehradun, shared, “Police had advised us against stepping out. So, for five days we remained confined to our homes. We were so scared that we did not even switch on the lights to conceal our presence.”
“We got police protection after the intervention of Kashmir Police. We had called up helpline numbers provided by the Kashmir Police, who coordinated with the local police to ensure we got adequate security. I even took my exams under police protection,” said Mohd Ali Reshi, native of Syedpora in Sopore.
Female students sent home by air
“I do not feel safe,” said Bilkeez, a student in Mohali, who was among 10 girl students who were sent to Jammu by air. She added, “No incident has taken place here, but still I want to ensure my safety.”
“The mobs are not even sparing females. My friend was beaten up, so I want to reach home safely, at the earliest,” said a female student from Dehradun, not wishing to be named.
“We are sending female students by air to ensure their safety,” said Jeevan of Khalsa Aid, an NGO, that has taken the responsibility of transportation of Kashmiri students.
125 students sent under security cover: SSP
“About 125 Kashmiri students from different areas in Ambala and Dehradun who had taken shelter in Mohali have been sent to Jammu under police protection,” said HS Bhullar, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Mohali. He urged the youth to maintain peace and not be misguided by anti-social elements.
Gurdwaras open doors for students
Several gurdwaras in Mohali have made arrangements for Kashmiri students as they arrive here from Dehradun and Ambala. “Most of the students went without food for three days. The gurdwaras are taking care of their food and lodging, and we have taken responsibility of their transportation. We have arranged for eight tempo travellers that will drop the students at Jammu. Earlier, the students were brought here in vehicles arranged by us,” said Amarpreet Singh, managing director, Asia Pacific, Khalsa Aid.
“We sent food and drinks for the students for their journey. About 120 students arrived on Tuesday morning, and they were served breakfast and tea,” said a sewadar at the gurdwara in Phase 3B1, Mohali.