Srinagar: A Kashmiri scholar in BITS Pilani was forced to abandon his course after some unknown miscreants scribbled threats on his shirts and the door of his hostel room.
Hashim Sofi, 27, fled to his home in Bandipore, Kashmir, after reporting the incident to BITS authorities on Friday morning. Sofi, a Junior Research Fellow (JRF) in the Pharmacy, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), used to stay at Maliya Bhavan Hostel. He told News 18 that on Friday morning, he was shocked to see the threats written on his shirt he had left to dry in the open, and the door.
"The abuses shocked me. I reported the matter to my warden and guide. They were very sad, they had been supporting me all along," he said.
Sofi said they asked him to focus on his studies, but he could not reconcile with the issued threats.
"What did I do? I fail to understand," he said. Sofi had been in the institute for the past 20 days only, and had to cut short his studies after the episode on Thursday night.
[quote]"My parents told me there was no need to stay and endanger your life. I may even return to the campus, but it will require a lot of convincing to get my parents' nod," he said.[/quote]
Sofi's parents suggested that his life is more important than the livelihood or career, and that he should work harder to get admission in a "safe" and preferably a foreign university.
Admitting that such an incident had occurred on the campus, the BITS Pilani management put out a statement: "The institute has taken a very serious note of the news item and asked the standing committee on student affairs to further investigate the matter and report back swiftly."
[blurb]This was the second instance in 48 hours when a Kashmiri student was reportedly intimidated in the BJP-led Rajasthan. Some locals, on Friday, clashed with a few Kashmiri students in a market outside the Mewar University. The group also allegedly called them names by referring to them as "stone pelters".[/blurb]
The incident comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urged chief ministers across the states to reach out to Kashmiri students, thereby, also ensuring their security. The home ministry has also set up a 24/7 helpline.
Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje had assured support and wrote on Twitter that "Kashmiri students are our children. Police have taken prompt action and apprehended the culprits".