Bengaluru: Kashmiri students assaulted Bengali boy for condemning Pulwama attacks, booked under sedition charges

Three Kashmiri students in Bengaluru have been taken under custody after they physically assaulted another fellow student for condemning the Pulwama terror attacks. The students — Gowhar Mushtaq, 21, from Baramulla; Haris Manzoor, 19, and Zakir Maqbool, 23, both from Kupwara — were arrested by the Surya Nagara police on Saturday night. Mushtaq is a second-year student and Manzoor a first-year student at the Spurthy Institute of Nursing, which is located at Marasur Gate, Anekal Main Road, on the southern outskirts of Bengaluru.

Maqbool is a fourth-year student at the Chinai College of Nursing, Bommanahalli. Manzoor and Maqbool had secured admission under the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme.

The three took objection when another fellow student, Koushik Debnath made out a Facebook post, condemning the attacks. Debnath, is a third-year student of general nursing at the college. The matter escalated on February 15 when the police said the Kashmiri students attacked Debnath and their non-Kashmiri peers at the college mess. Babu D, the principal, approached the police.

Police has booked the three under IPS sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), 323 (assault), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and section 13 (advocates, abets, advises or incites the commission of any unlawful activity) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The arrested students have also confessed of writing social media posts in favor of terrorists and Pakistan.

With the latest arrests, the number of those detained for supporting the Pulwama acts has gone up to 6, out of which 5 were Kashmiri. Meanwhile, In a tweet, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara reassured Kashmiris living in Bengaluru. “In troubled times, it is imperative to stay united. Harassing, attacking or abusing #KashmiriStudents is not the solution for anything. Students from #JammuAndKashmir, please reach out to @BlrCityPolice or @CPBlr if you’re feeling unsafe and need help. We are one,” he wrote.