CHANDIGARH/SRINAGAR: At a time when Kashmiri students across the country are allegedly being hounded and harassed in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, the Sikh community has come in for praise from the Valley for the support that they have demonstrated towards the distressed pupils. Overwhelmed by the support, a Kashmiri vegetable vendor offered free veggies to Sikh customers as a token of respect for the community.
While there have been multiple reports of reprisals on Kashmiri students in the days following the Pulwama attack, gurdwaras have opened their doors to those allegedly forced out of their rented accommodations or campuses. Khalsa Aid, an NGO leading humanitarian efforts across the globe, and members of the Sikh community not only provided food, protection and shelter to stranded Kashmiri students but also helped them reach their homes.
Khwaja Itrat, president, Jammu & Kashmir Students Organisation (JKSO), said, “Around 700-800 distressed students came from Dehradun, seeking shelter, and we arranged for their travel to Jammu. Khalsa Aid came forward to provide food to at least 300 of these students and even arranged for transport for the ride to Jammu. The gurdwara management and Punjab Police also helped.”
Amanpreet Singh, director, Khalsa Aid, said, “They urged our help saying they wanted to return home. We’re glad to have been of service.”
“I gave vegetables for free to Sikh customers as the community went out of its way to help distressed Kashmiris across the country,” Shabir, the Kashmiri vendor, said in a video that has gone viral on social media.
Former CM Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “I salute our Sikh brethren who came to the aid of young Kashmiris all over the country.”National Conference (NC) leader and former CM Omar Abdullah,said, “The Sikh sangat has gone above and beyond the call of duty in reaching out & helping Kashmiris in distress, whether in Jammu or outside the state.”People across the Valley are offering special discounts and rebates to the Sikh community.