Human Rights

Kashmiri students under intelligence surveillance

Police and intelligence agencies have made it tough for Kashmiri students to pursue their education in other states of the country. Intelligence and police agencies have prepared a list of 40 students pursuing their post-graduation studies at different universities. Agencies have reportedly alleged that these students have strong links with terrorists and work for them.

Since the inception of militancy in Kashmir, hundreds of students from Kashmir have been arrested and their carreer spoilt. Dozen of students and businessmen are still languishing in jails at different places of the country waiting for release.

According to available reports, on 26 September 2009 Jammu & Kashmir police acting on inputs received from intelligence agencies arrested Zubair Ahmed son of Mohammed Sharif, a resident of Mendhar, while he was returning from Kanpur to Jammu. Police alleged that on the pretext of pursuing education, Zubair is working for LeT and JeM in Uttar Pardesh. Police claimed that from the possession of the accused, hawala money, five mobile phones and some objectionable material have been recovered. Police said that Zubair has close contacts with JeM's divisional commander Dawood Khan and has been making frequent vists to the commander. Police also said that Zubair has been arrested on the basis of secret information. On 25 August, Delhi police arrested Mohammed Aslam alias Ilyas Salem alias Ilyas Yousuf son of Mohammed Latif, a resident of Sakin Tahna Mandi, Sachkhn Express at Delhi. He was an MA Arabic student at Kanpur University. Police after his arrest said that five kg RDX sealed in sweet packets were recovered from him.

Parents of both the accused have rubbished the police claims and said that intelligence agencies are intentionally creating such atmosphere to prevent J&K’s Muslim students from pursuing their education outside the Valley. In the past 17 years, hundreds of students who moved to other states for better education, were arrested and subjected to torture and their carreers were ruined for no reason.

In the recent past, intelligence agencies have prepared a report and handed it over to the home minister which said that 30 to 40 Kashmiri students are engaged in terror activities. The report said that a majority of these students are in UP, Delhi and Bangalore. Following the intelligence report, many universities and colleges have shut their doors to Kashmiri Muslim students. To make things further difficult, the J&K state government has taken drastic steps and banned all coaching centers where students were pursuing their education. The state government in its argument said that coaching centers are not registered under the UGC, so these centers can't be tolerated.

Sections of people have expressed anguish over the harassment of Kashmiri students and businessmen by the police and intelligence agencies and demanded that the matter should be taken up with the central government. People also asked as to why Muslim students alone are being victimized and deprived of technical education and training? And if the government fails to protect its subjects in other states, it should provide all facilities to its students in its own state. People also warned that if such steps are not taken, same students may opt for wrong path and will go on the path of destruction.

Majid Jahangir

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2009 on page no. 11

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