Three of the six people accused of assaulting two students from Jammu and Kashmir in Haryana have been arrested, police said Saturday.
Mahendergarh SP Kamaldeep added that investigation was underway in the matter.
The students, identified as 23-year-old Aftab Ahmad and 22-year-old Amjad Ali, are studying Geography at the Central University of Haryana.
The students alleged they were followed by men on two-wheelers as they made their way back to the university campus. The men caught up with them and beat them up.
“They started beating us for no reason,” Aftab told The Indian Express. “The police reached the spot after the locals called them. They [police] dropped us in the hospital and left.” Aftab claimed that when they approached the university authorities they told them the incident did not happen in the campus.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti demanded action against the accused. “Shocked and disturbed to hear reports of Kashmiri students being assaulted in Mahendargarh, Haryana,” Mufti tweeted and tagged Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. “I urge the authorities to investigate and take strict action.”
Three people have been arrested, Khattar said in his reply to Mufti on Twitter. “[The] guilty will be punished,” Khattar tweeted. “The incident had started with the their motorcycles colliding.”
The students alleged that the police had initially refused to file an FIR in the case and did so only after their university proctor intervened, News18 reported.
Mahendragarh’s Deputy Superintendent of Police refuted claims of a “Kashmir angle” to the attack. “The students were not targeted because of their identity,” the official told News18.
Speaking to news agency ANI, CS Rao, IGP South Range, Haryana said, ” Two incidents happened in Mahendragarh yesterday.2 Kashmiri students went to offer prayers in mosque & thereafter to market. Suddenly they were attacked & were injured,one boy managed to flee while the other was admitted to the hospital by police.
At the same time, five UP laborers who it seems were returning from mosque had a quarrel with two locals (accused in case). Labourers outnumbered locals who then called their friends & it seems Kashmiri youth were attacked in misunderstanding that they were with labourers, he said.
(Aftab, one of the two students assaulted in Haryana, speaks to media)