Punjab CM vows to protect Kashmiri students

Punjab CM vows to protect Kashmiri students

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh condemns Thursday's Pulwama terror attack in the state Assembly in Chandigarh, on February 15, 2019. PTI

As scores of Kashmiri students seek refuge at safer places in the region amid apprehensions of a backlash following the killing of Indian soldiers in Pulwama, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday vowed all possible support and protection to these students.

Under the patronage of the Jammu & Kashmir student organisation, a group of about 20 students from Haryana, Dehradun and other places reached Mohali in Punjab. The organisation has arranged transit accommodation for these Kashmiri students.

In Punjab, there are nearly 4,000 students from the Valley pursuing various professional and degree courses in the border state.

Singh on Sunday made it clear that all Kashmiri students in Punjab would be given full protection by his government. He said he had issued all necessary instructions to the police in the wake of reports of Kashmiri students being targeted and harassed in various states following the Pulwama terror attack on a CRPF convoy.

“No innocent person will be allowed to be subjected to any harassment in Punjab,” the CM said warning those trying to perpetrate communal hatred and disharmony in the state.

“We will not play into the hands of the forces trying to divide us in the name of religion,” Amarinder said, vowing not to let the hard-earned peace of Punjab to be disturbed at any cost.

The report suggests a backlash against Kashmiri students in Mullana near Ambala in Haryana. All Kashmiri students staying there have been asked to vacate their rented accommodation with "immediate effect". Villagers threaten that landlords will be declared "traitors" if they do not get their premises vacated. Airfare to the Valley has shot up leaving students stranded.

J&K students organisation representative claimed that they have been receiving hundreds of distress phone calls on the helpline numbers set up after the attack from students and parents.

Meanwhile, Singh on Sunday met the bereaved parents of CRPF martyr Kulwinder Singh at their village. The CM also announced a special monthly pension of Rs 10,000 per month to them (either or surviving parents) since they had no other children and the deceased was unmarried. The pension will be given in lieu of the job to the next of kin of the martyr and will be in addition to the Rs 7 Lakh ex gratia and Rs 5 lakh cash in lieu of land which the family is entitled to.