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Militant threat letter to non-local employees, students being investigated: Police

A female government employee was terminated from her service in the Pir Panjal valley’s Rajouri in Jammu division on Thursday after her WhatsApp status allegedly celebrated “Pakistan’s victory in T20 cricket”.

In an order issued by Dr. Brij Mohan, Principal of the Government Medical College, Rajouri, an operation theatre technician, Safiya Majeed, was terminated from service after, the order read, “A viral video seems to have posted her WhatsApp status showing celebration of defeat of the Indian Cricket Team against Pakistan in T-20 World Cup 2021, the activity which seems to be disloyalty towards nation.”

The order said no employee of the institution shall be allowed to be “disloyal to the nation”. “She had proceeded on a casual leave for five days from October 21, 2021 and also failed to join her duties on the expiry of said leave. And whereas no prior notice is required to be given to such an employee for gross indiscipline in her duties,” the order said.

Street celebrations, including bursting of crackers, were reported in several parts of the Kashmir valley on October 24, when the Pakistan team defeated the Indian team in the T20 World Cup. The J&K police have already lodged two FIRs against students who were seen cheering and celebrating Pakistan’s win at two medical colleges in Srinagar in videos that went viral on social media. However, no arrests have been made so far.

Threat letter

Meanwhile, the J&K police have started an investigation into a threat letter circulated online by the United Liberation Front (ULF), the outfit allegedly behind the killing of non-local labourers in the valley this month.

“We have taken cognisance of the statement. An investigation is on,” a senior police officer told The Hindu.

In a statement, the ULF alleged that the FIR against local students was lodged because of “non-local employees and students”.

The ULF statement, being probed by the police, said, “We warn these elements to apologise within 48 hours otherwise wrath will befall them. Those non-local employees and students who have lodged the complaint against the doctors and students in Soura, Kara Nagar and Batamaloo are warned of dire consequences.”

The Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) asked non-local staffers, including doctors, para-medics and technicians “to avail the residential facility on the SKIMS campus and shift from the private apartments or residential areas, as a precautionary measure”.

‘Pardon my son’

Meanwhile, the mother of a B. Tech student, Showkat Shaban Ganaie from Bandipora’s Shahgund, one of the three Kashmiri students arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police for celebrating Pakistan’s win in cricket, on Thursday appealed to the government “to pardon my son”.

“My son is innocent. We had sent him for studies with the hope he will end our poverty. I have worked hard to see him in a college. If he has done anything wrong, he should be pardoned. I want him back home,” Mr. Ganaie’s mother said.

Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti has also urged their release. “Crackdown on Kashmiri students both within J&K and outside is reprehensible. Situation in J&K after two years of suppression should have been an eye opener for the Government of India and lead to course correction. The BJP’s pseudo-patriotism disregards the idea of India. Release these students immediately,” Ms. Mufti said.

The National Conference condemned the alleged heckling of the arrested students in a U.P. court. “This uncouth, disgusting act by so-called lawyers is condemnable, unacceptable. College authorities have already confirmed that the three Kashmiri students were not involved in any sloganeering. Still, they are facing this. Is there no justice for these innocent young Kashmiris?” NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said.