Four Kashmiri students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have been served show-cause notices by the authorities for holding a protest in the campus, official sources said on Friday.
In separate notices to the students, AMU proctor Afifullah Khan has asked them to submit their replies within the next 48 hours or face disciplinary action for having organised the "illegal gathering", said a PTI report.
The action came a day after a group of Kashmiri students had taken out a march from the AMU library to the Bab-e-Syed gate, raising slogans against the alleged atrocities by the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir and the communication blockade during the past one month after the Centre declared the abrogation of Article 370 and hived the state into two Union territories. The protesting students said they had not yet been able to contact their families.
Armed with placards and shouting slogans like “Aawaz do hum ek hai”, “Jis Kashmir ko khoon se seecha, woh Kashmir humara hai”, (We Are One and The Kashmir We have Shed Blood For is Ours), the J&K students enrolled in AMU took out a protest march inside the campus on Thursday.
"The protest was organised by the Kashmiri students to highlight the problems being faced by people in the valley. Since Kashmir is in lockdown since 32 days, we are facing lots of problems communicating with our families,” Farhat, a student told Newsclick.
She said that students from J&K were “living in continuous fear of a war between India and Pakistan. Recently, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said India will not baulk at using nuclear weapons to defend itself, and Pakistan is also speaking in the same tone,” and urged the government of India and Pakistan and the world community to act sensibly and resolve the Kashmir crisis in a peaceful manner.
“We want curfew should be revoked immediately as we don't know how our parents are,” said Farhat, who has not spoken to her parents since the past 32 days.
"We do not have money for survival so the 1,200 Kashmiri students enrolled in AMU are helping each other. Instead of helping us, the university administration is threatening us not to take part in any protest over Article 370 abrogation. We have also security concern here on the campus as the administration asked us not to step out from the campus,” she added.
It may be recalled that on the occasion of Eid al-Adha on August 12, Kashmiri students at AMU boycotted the lunch invite from the liaison officer of the central government in a display of their opposition to abrogation of Article 370 in J&K.
Sajjad Ahmad, a Ph.D student, told Newsclick, "Our protest was against the humanitarian crisis and communication blackout. There is a war-like situation between India and Pakistan. In the midst of a communication breakdown and a media blackout, we have been undergoing psychological trauma. It appears we are being treated as sub-humans whose lives don’t matter and who deserve no rights. The reports of torture, killings and pellet injuries in Kashmir published in the international media have shocked us beyond imagination. The communication blackout should end immediately.”
Reacting over the show-cause notice over organising the protest, Sajjad told Newsclick, "The university administration can see the video of the protest. It was peaceful and was conducted in a democratic way. If we cannot protest here in AMU, then where will go to show our pain? We have been not in touch with our families since 32 days. We want the government to start internet services in the Valley so that we can at least talk to our parents."
Meanwhile, Shafey Kidwai, the university spokesperson, reportedly threatened some Kashmiri students, alleging that they had violated the rules and action would be take against them.