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Kashmiri students "Assaulted" at Jammu’s Govt Medical College Over ‘The Kerala Story’

Anees Zargar |
Following the incident, the students from the medical college on Monday held a demonstration outside the campus.

Srinagar: Several students from Government Medical College, Jammu were injured after they were allegedly attacked by a mob in the campus hostel following an argument over the recent controversial film ‘The Kerala Story’. 

According to eye witnesses, at least one student, Haseeb from Jammu’s Bhaderwah, was grievously injured when he tried to intervene and save other students from the attackers. “He was hit by an iron rod and has received about 10-12 stitches,” a student told NewsClick on the condition of anonymity.

The students said that they have been living in fear for months now on the campus. Movies like ‘The Kerala Story’ have only added to the disharmony amongst the students from different communities, they said.

Following the incident, the students from the medical college on Monday held a demonstration outside the campus demanding justice from the administration, they claimed, has been ignoring their safety concerns so far. 

A senior police official, however, said they have taken cognizance of the incident and launched an investigation into the matter. 

One of the students said that the argument started after one of the medical students posted a link of the film in an online group called ‘MBBS Prof 1 General Group’, which is meant for exchanging notes, class schedules, and other college-related updates. The student also posted a message with the link claiming that the film was a “must watch for woke people” and was based on “real events” to which other students, mostly Kashmiris, opposed and argued that it was not the right platform to promote the movie.

“This is an educational group… No scope here for any other religious or political or whatsoever issues...Avoid sending such messages here,” one of the students wrote in the group.

Another student suggested that the “propaganda film” would affect “communal harmony”.

The students, however, left the argument there. They claimed that other students, who had called people from outside the campus, later barged into the hostel and began to assault the Kashmiri students.

Activist Nasir Khuehami of the J&K Students Association said he received multiple distress calls late in the night about the attack, following which he informed the authorities to intervene.

“I strongly urge the Office Of LG J&K to intervene and take immediate action to address the situation. Requesting to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of all students,” he tweeted.

The incident in the Jammu college is one of the many such instances where Kashmiri students have faced ire from others on various issues including the India-Pakistan cricket matches. Several students have faced serious charges like sedition after being accused of supporting the Pakistani cricket team. Similar tension was reported across the Indian states following the release of another controversial movie The Kashmir Files in March 2022, which many claimed was an outright propaganda movie aimed to “vilify” Kashmiri Muslims.

Since its release earlier in May, The Kerala Story has faced huge criticism for its Islamophobic tropes and exaggerating claims about “Love Jihad”, a conspiracy theory where Muslims are accused of wooing Hindu women to forcefully convert them to Islam. The film claimed to be a story of 32,000 women from Kerala who were converted and lured into Islamic Jihad and was withdrawn by its makers after facing flak.

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