Haryana Assault: Opposition creat uproar in LA, stages walkout

JAMMU, Feb 3: Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today witnessed noisy scenes over alleged assault on two Kashmiri students in Haryana, with several opposition members staging a walkout during the zero hour, accusing the government of failing to check such incidents.
The state government assured the House that the matter has been taken up with Haryana and three persons have been arrested in the case.
The opposition members also questioned why the government had called an an all-party meeting to discuss upcoming panchayat elections, when it has already taken all decisions in this regard.
After the house assembled, BJP state president Sat Sharma drew the attention of the house to the the death of three Army personnel in an avalanche in Gurez sector of Bandipora district in north Kashmir and the force rescuing a civilian patient despite adverse weather condition yesterday.
“The opposition should also acknowledge and praise the sacrifice and the rescue effort of the Army… They only consider it their duty to criticise the forces,” he said amid thumping of desks by the BJP legislators.
Deputy Speaker Nazir Ahmad Gurezi, during the question hour, said the Indian Air Force and the Army were doing a great service to the nation which is praise worthy.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister A R Veeri intervened to make a statement before the start of the question hour, assuring the house that the government was serious on both the issues raised by the opposition.
“As far as Haryana incident is concerned, an FIR has already been lodged by (Haryana police). Two students were attacked by some miscreants (yesterday), resulting in minor injuries to one of them.
“On the directions of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Principal Secretary (Home) talked to his counterpart. Besides the state DGP S P Vaid contacted the DGP of Haryana. So far three persons have been arrested in connection with the assault,” he said.
After National Conference MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar questioned the logic behind holding an all-party meeting over panchayat elections “when everything has been decided”, Veeri said, “we are serious about the meeting which is being chaired by the chief minister herself.
“It is the decision of the cabinet and the outcome of the all-party meet will be discussed at the cabinet and its decision will be final,” he said.
The question hour passed off peacefully barring a walkout by BJP legislator Choudhary Sukhnadan over “non-satisfactory” answer to his question related to farmers.
However, the zero hour saw opposition members vociferously raising the incidents of attacks on Kashmiri students in others states.
Congress MLA G M Saroori claimed that a youth from Kishtwar was killed outside the state and demanded a statement from the government.
NC MLA Altaf Kaloo also read out a purported SMS from a student in which he alleged that they were attacked outside the state. NC members and several Congress legislators later staged a walk out to protest against what they called the government’s failure to stop such attacks.
While leaving the house, Kaloo pointed towards ruling PDP legislators and said, “You too are Kashmiris.”
PDP MLA Mohammad Ashraf Mir said “I am Kashmiri first, then Indian”.
Later talking to reporters, Sagar said the attack on students outside the state is leading to alienation which is very dangerous.
“An impression goes especially in the Valley that we are not safe and secure which is a wrong signal,” he said and demanded stern action against the “fringe elements” involved in such attacks.
He said that such persons cannot be friends of the country and are enemies of the nation.
“Everyone is free to go anywhere in any college or university and if he is restricted in the name of religion, region or state, that is not a good thing,” the MLA said.
Meanwhile Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has expressed shock over an incident.
“Shocked & disturbed to hear reports of Kashmiri students being assaulted in Mahendargarh, Haryana,” Mufti wrote on micr-blogging site Twitter.
She further tweeted, “I urge the authorities to investigate & take strict action”.
Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah while taking to Twitter said, “students from our premier Agriculture University are detained & one is arrested. It seems one of their fellow passengers didn’t like traveling with a group of Kashmiris”.
“This hyper-nationalism built around the propaganda that all Kashmiris are terrorists & stone pelters will drive young Kashmiris further away from the national mainstream,” he tweeted.
Later speaking to reporters outside the House Kaloo said that he was in touch with the students of the University and they have claimed that their security is at stake.
Two students namely Aftab Ahmad and Amjad Ali pursuing M.Sc in Geography were attacked because they the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, he asserted.
“The students have demanded security otherwise all students have planned to leave the university,” said the NC MLA.
“Where ever the Kashmiri students are studying across the country in BJP ruled states, a notion is being given that they are not part of India,” he added and said that earlier in Bhopal and now in Haryana, these incidents are taking place.
“We want that the State Government should condemn it and take up the matter with the Government of India,” he said.
However, Congress member Usman Majeed said, “if such attacks will continue then no Kashmiri will go outside for studies. We condemn this act.”
“The goons of BJP and RSS are spreading hatred across the country. What message we are giving to our people and what we have to reply to them?”
“Are we not safe in India? What do we say that India is not a good country to live?,” adding, Majeed said “it has become a routine and the Centre is only doing a lip service but nothing concrete has been done to protect our students.”