Kashmiri researcher returns home after harassment at BITS Pilani

A Kashmiri project fellow at BITS Pilani in Rajasthan has left the institute after allegedly facing harassment.

Hashim Sofi, a 27-year-old scholar who was at BITS as a research project staff, has left for his hometown, Bandipora in Kashmir. Sofi had posted about the harrasment incident on his Facebook post.

Sofi had, on April 20 reported to the chief warden of his hostel that someone had written objectionable comments on the door of his hostel room. Sofi had also said that objectionable comments were written on two of his t-shirts that were kept in the balcony outside to dry. As per Sofi, this incident happened on the intervening night of April 20 and 21.

As per a release issued by BITS, Pilani, which was accessed by India Today, "The Chief Warden met and assured all assistance and help to the concerned project fellow. He made arrangements to shift him from the hostel to residential quarters. The Chief Warden got in touch with the Associate Dean, Students' Welfare and they inquired the matter from the hostel Superintendent and the Warden, got in touch with the Chief Security Officer and called a meeting of all the people. They didn't find any other such incident from any other research scholar or student from Jammu and Kashmir. Exactly what has happened is yet to be ascertained. The enquiry report of the Chief Warden was submitted to the Associate Dean, SWD."

Sofi has left the hostel after the alleged harassment.

The institute's release further added, "Meanwhile today on 23 April we have learnt that Mr. Sofi is not available in his allotted quarters and has left without informing his Project Investigator and other authorities of the institute. He is also not available on phone."

Earlier on April 19, some Kashmiri students studying in Mewar University in Rajasthan's Chittorgarh district, were allegedly beaten up. Thereafter, Kashmiri students at the university had demanded security for them. Even Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had expressed concern over the issue of security of Kashmiri students across the country and had appealed all te state governments to take action to ensure safety of students.

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