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Ujjain: University V-C attacked for appeal to help Kashmir flood victims

September 16, 2014


A group of alleged right wing activists went on the rampage at a university in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh over an aid appeal for victims of devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir, the vice chancellor said on Tuesday.

The mob of young men stormed the Vikram University campus on Monday, breaking windows, throwing furniture and trying to smash ceiling fans with wooden sticks.

Vice Chancellor Jawaharlal Kaul said that the attack occurred after the university issued an appeal to help any Kashmiri students affected by the floods that have claimed several hundred lives and devastated the capital city, Srinagar.

The mob of young men stormed the Vikram University campus on Monday, breaking windows, throwing furniture and trying to smash ceiling fans with wooden sticks.

"There was an appeal issued by us for helping Kashmiri boys who are studying here...there was an appeal by the state government as well," the vice-chancellor told mediapersons.

"They (the attackers) said they were from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal," said Kaul.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to power in May, sparking fears among religious minorities of a rise of Hindutva grassroots groups.

Jammu and Kashmir is India's only Muslim-majority state where many residents oppose Indian rule and want independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Kaul said he had appealed through a local newspaper for help to aid students whose families were thought caught in Kashmir's worst floods in a century.

"Particularly the landlords (of the students) were requested by me not to ask for rent for a couple of months until the situation is over," Kaul said.

The mob stormed Kaul's office, demanding an explanation for wanting to help Kashmiri students, before the violence broke out, he said.

"In about 10-15 minutes they broke all the office furniture," said Kaul who was taken to hospital after being shaken by the ordeal.

 

The protesters were apparently angry that such appeals had not been issued for victims of past deadly floods elsewhere in the country, including in Uttarakhand last year.

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