The intelligence wing of the West Bengal police has been reportedly asking colleges for details of students from Jammu and Kashmir.
The note from the intelligence wing states: "Please let me know that students, whose residential addresses is under the state of Jammu & Kashmir, studies in your institution for onwards transmission to the Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block, New Delhi, Govt. of India." The authenticity of the note has been confirmed by the Joint Commissioner of Police (intelligence).
The West Bengal Police, according to the report, said it was approached by the central intelligence agencies for this information. The police claims that it was being done to maintain dossiers, so that they could keep a watch on the activities of these students.
The Home Ministry spokesperson said the content of the advisory issued by the Home Ministry was totally different to what had appeared in the media.
The official said a general advisory was sent to all states on 23 February, wherein the ministry requested the state governments to ensure the protection of students from Jammu and Kashmir.
"Incidents affecting these students may be handled with utmost care and sensitivity," was the advice given by the ministry, according to the official.
Understandably, the report has made Kashmiris jittery. Many took to Twitter to express outrage.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also took up the issue, and asked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to look into the matter and ensure that students are not harassed.
Banerjee put his fears to rest and said even though the matter relates to the Home Ministry, Kashmiris are welcome in West Bengal.
. @abdullah_omar Issue related to MHA. But let me assure u, people of J&K r welcome. We assure them peace of mind to enjoy beautiful Bengal- Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) March 15, 2016
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