Punjab University has started profiling Kashmiri students. The move comes after three youths were caught with an AK-47 rifle and pistols in Jalandhar on October 10, The Tribune reported.
According to report published by The Tribune said that an email from the Dean of University Instructions, Prof Shankarji Jha, to all departments, dated October 11, states, “You are requested to provide information on Kashmiri students admitted to your department/centre/institute to the office of the undersigned latest by October 11 till 4 pm positively in the given format (hard copy) or through e-mail ([email protected]).”
“The PU has asked for the name of the student, father’s name, class, address, and contact number,” it said.
The report said that the email further states, “This may be treated as the most urgent/time-bound.”
“It is, however, not clear whether Kashmiri students refers to those belonging to the Kashmir Valley alone or even those hailing from Jammu and Ladakh,” the report said.
Most of the departments have sent the details. “We have got the details of 50 students. Some departments are yet to respond,” the report quoted DUI, Prof Shankarji Jha as saying. He said he had been asked to send such a circular, but did not know the purpose behind seeking such details.
“On October 10, three Kashmiri students were arrested from the CT Institute of Engineering Management and Technology, Jalandhar, for allegedly being members of militant outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH). A search yielded weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle, three Italy-made pistols, and explosives. The police had said that one of the arrested students was a cousin of AGH chief Zakir Musa, aka Zakir Rashid Bhat. Musa was studying engineering in Mohali and had joined the Hizb unit in Tral in 2013, when he had gone home on a vacation,” The Tribune reported.
On October 11, three Aligarh Muslim University students were also suspended for allegedly trying to hold funeral prayers for scholar rebel Manan Bashir Wani, who killed in an encounter in the Handwara area in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir.
No official comment came from the PU when asked for. The Tribune quoted Vice-Chancellor, Prof Raj Kumar, as saying that he was not aware of any such letter and asked this correspondent to contact his Secretary. His Secretary, Dr Muneeshwar Joshi, couldn’t be contacted as his phone was switched off.
“It is wrong on the part of the PU to profile Kashmiri students. And if the information is being shared with intelligence agencies, that is also wrong,” The Tribune quoted Daler Singh, vice-president, PUCSC as saying.
“Just like Aligarh Muslim University, the PU has also been threatening Kashmiri students on the campus. They will be put under surveillance,” Kanupriya, president, Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) told The Tribune.
“It is happening everywhere now. We are kept under surveillance. Tabs are being kept on us to know whom we meet; our phones are also tapped. We are being harassed,” The Tribune quoted Faheem Ud Din Dar as saying, who hails from Baramulla in Kashmir and has completed his master’s in philosophy from the PU this year.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said the ISI had, for long, been active in Punjab and could be operating through Kashmiri students. On the recent arrest of Kashmiri youths from a private institute in Jalandhar, he said every student from Kashmir was not a militant and the police had so far not established any link of the arrested students with locals.