"Hijabs Forcibly Pulled From Our Heads,” Kashmiri Students Allegedly Thrashed At Desh Bhagat University; Campus Closed Amid Protests

"Hijabs Forcibly Pulled From Our Heads,” Kashmiri Students Allegedly Thrashed At Desh Bhagat University; Campus Closed Amid Protests

Kashmiri students, along with others, reportedly faced attacks at Desh Bhagat University (DBU) in Punjab during protests against the university’s move to transfer their admissions to a college that does not have accreditation from the Indian Nursing Council (INC) and the Punjab Nursing Registration Council (PNRC).

Uzma* , a nursing student from the university, said that tensions escalated on September 14th at around 9 AM when the university authorities and police confronted the students who were participating in the protests.

“Several Kashmiri students were arrested by the police on campus, they are now denying it. Some of us were subjected to lathi charges, a few have suffered anxiety attacks, they have been hospitalized,” Uzma* said while talking to The Observer Post.

“We are Muslims. Our hijabs were forcibly pulled from our heads, with some of them torn,” she added.

The students alleged that the university transferred approximately 70 Kashmiri students who were pursuing various paramedical courses to Sardar Lal Singh College, even though this institution, while affiliated with DBU Punjab, lacks recognition from the Indian Nursing Council.

“They were only allotted 60 seats by the INC but they admitted more students to the course, now they are asking us to transfer from one college to another, this is unjust,” another student said.

“The students of the 2020 batch have been protesting against this sudden transfer decision for about 15 days. Despite the university’s notice of hostel and mess closures, we are not allowed to talk to the university authorities. It’s like nobody cares about us,” she said.

Videos from the protest that occurred on September 14 have gone viral on social media platforms. These videos show police personnel forcibly dragging female students along the street and thrashing male students.

In response to the situation, DBU officials announced the closure of the university until further notice.

“The University has been shut till further orders and anything beyond that cannot be said. The matter has been handed over to the Police and the administration. They are already discussing the matter,” said an official from the University.

*Name changed
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