‘Some students heard, specific Muslim and Kashmiri names being shouted out by armed goons’
JAMMU, Jan 6: On Sunday evening when masked goons were running amok inside the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru campus, Kashmiri students trapped inside began to look for safer shelters as word went around that apart from leftist students, Muslim students and Kashmiri Muslims in particular, were the main targets.
According to some students, who spoke to Kashmir Times, while many Kashmiri students managed to go out of University campus, those left over were sheltered by their non-Muslim friends in the hostel.
“They had names and details of the students living in the hostels and went barging into rooms on pick and choose basis in the Sabarmati hostel where maximum violence happened,” they said.
One Kashmiri student from JNU confirmed this. “I was told by a friend who got stuck in the Sabarmati hostel with some other friends when the goons came.”
The student, who spoke to Kashmir Times on conditions of anonymity, said that she had gone out and was returning to the campus at around 5.15 PM when she started noticing the masked men entering the campus with rods and sticks.
“Another fellow student entering the campus about the same time was arguing with the security guards how they had allowed these people entry when the names and details of even the inmates were being noted down in the register while entering the premises,” she said.
“There was uneasiness around the campus. On my way to my hostel, I passed the Tea Point near the Sabarmati hostel and saw the men walking inside. A meeting of teachers and student union members was happening there peacefully but one could still sense there was something unusual and discomforting,” she said.
She added, “I went to my room and by 6.15 PM, I began hearing shouts, screams and sounds of shrieking around the campus. Scared, I stayed put as I endured the most horrible and unexpected experience of my student life in JNU.”
“Much later, my friend and neighbour in the hostel came and narrated her terrible ordeal. She had got stuck at Sabarmati hostel when the goons came and began ransacking rooms and beating up everybody who came their way. She and six-seven other students rushed up to the pantry on the second floor and locked themselves inside for safety. They could hear the goons beating and trying to break the doors,” she said, narrating her friend’s story.
She went on, “My friend said that they could hear them shouting from outside and they were screaming out names of some of the Muslim and Kashmiri students and asking for their whereabouts. When the voices died down from outside the room, we came out and I rushed back. On the way we saw some rooms were ransacked with things broken and furniture and belongings flung across, glass panes shattered…..She told me that most of the rooms ransacked were of Muslim students. They appeared to have details of every inmate. There appeared to be pick and choose in the way of ransacking the rooms.”
“After hearing her words, I did not feel safe in my room. One of my non-Muslim friends at the hostel offered that I spend the night in her room. We could still hear noises outside for atleast two more hours. They were still lurking around. We had also heard that the JNUSU president had been brutally beaten. Who else would be safe, then?”
“I felt a little relieved in my friend’s room. But not fully safe. We still stacked up tables and heavy stuff against the door, just in case someone came for us. It was such a horrible and nightmarish experience…,” she said. “We’re no longer safe anywhere…”