KOCHI: While Kashmiri students in universities and institutions in other states have started to leave for homes feeling threat of possible attacks after Pulwama incident, Kashmiri students in Kerala said they feel safe in Kerala and have decided to stay back. Kerala Police will also ensure the safety of the Kashmiri students with State Police Chief Loknath Behera saying “we will make them feel safe in Kerala.”
Police have the details of the Kashmiri students studying in various universities in Kerala. “We will make them feel safe in Kerala. Will take necessary steps for that,” Behera said. Hanan Muzafir, a Kashmiri student at Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), said they had not encountered any issues so far on college campus or outside. “Four of us from Kashmir are studying in Cusat and we have not faced any issues so far. We feel safe in Kerala,” Hanan said.
There are four Kashmiri students in Central University of Kerala in Kasargod and according to university authorities, no issues have been reported so far. Police officers said the university authorities have been asked to maintain a close watch on the hostel where the Kashmiri students are staying.“We don’t have a panic situation in Kerala as in other states. So far, we have not received any complaint about anti-social elements targeting Kashmiri students,” said another senior police officer.
Police have been on a close watch of Central University of Kerala as a student from Andhra Pradesh has been already charged with sedition over a Facebook post on Pulwama terror attack.
Even Kashmiri traders settled in Mattancherry said they feel very safe being in Kerala. “We don’t have any issues in Kerala. People here are friendly and they have been extending all support to us. We feel completely safe in Kerala,” said Kashmiri Traders Welfare Association president Sajid Hussain Khatai.
There are about 5,000 Kashmiris in Mattancherry selling various Kashmiri products like handicraft shawls, carpets, jewellery and antiques. Similarly, there are considerable number of Kashmiri traders also in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.