kashmiri students


Kirori Mal College (KMC) administration stops concerned students from protesting on campus due to lack of administrative approval, allegedly said that such events will not be allowed to take place on campus.

After days of sustained communal violence in parts of Northeast Delhi, instigated by Hindutva goons and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders such as Kapil Mishra against the Muslim communities in the area, concerned students from KMC decided to hold a protest gathering in the canteen lawn at 12:40 PM on 26th February 2020. This protest was however not allowed to carry on. After initial sloganeering against the communal violence and calling for the arrest of Kapil Mishra, who had incited the violence, the protesters were confronted by Dr. Vibha Singh Chauhan, the Principal of Kirori Mal College.

The Principal ordered for the protest to be stopped citing lack of approval from the administration. She can be heard in a video recording dismissing one of the protesters who pointed out that the process for approval was not available and easy for common students, which she refuted saying that the process is available and these events should be held only with approval.

Lakshay Talwar, a third-year Political Science student who was part of the protest said that it was called to march around campus to collectivize people to show the gravity of the situation and to build some resources in the form of people willing to help. He says that when they were confronted by the Principal, the students tried to negotiate saying that they will conduct a silent march which was not allowed.

Talwar, along with two other protesters held a meeting with the Principal in her room. He describes the events as follows, “She initially is adamant about the fact that they need to take permission because if they don’t, other groups can see it as a means to instigate violence, which is absurd considering that it was a peace march. After which, when asked for permission to hold a peace march on the next day with prior intimation, the Principal denied them permission going back on her previous statement. The reasoning given by her was the safety of the students and avoiding violence.”

Lakshay said that they pointed out that collectivization in campus spaces is a means of safety as Kashmiri and Muslim students on campus already don’t feel safe, and that it is already the administration’s responsibility to make sure that violence does not occur. The Principal continued to deny the responsibility of the administration for the safety of the students. Lakshay stated that when they pointed out dissent is a democratic exercise, the Principal replied with, “If you think this is undemocratic, so be it but I am not granting you permission, you do it outside of college.” The problem with doing it outside of college is more dangerous to the student’s safety from right-wing groups, a responsibility which the Principal refused to take today.

DU Beat has reached out to the college for comments on the matter, to which there has been no reply. This report will be updated if they comment on this issue.

Featured Image Credits: Anonymous

DU Beat Correspondent

Kashmiri student was allegedly harassed and discriminated against by an OYO hotel in Delhi. The staff and police claim otherwise and refute his statement. OYO has released an official statement of clarification


Nauman Rafiq, a law student at University of Delhi (DU) alleged that his father and sister were harassed at a Delhi OYO hotel after they identified as belonging from Kashmir. 


The staff of Asha Residency hotel, an OYO registered four-star hotel in Vijay Nagar, near North Campus apparently stated that as per police orders, guests from Jammu and Kashmir “are not allowed to check-in.” Rafiq in conversation with Firstpost, explained, “They asked for proof of identity. After we furnished it, they asked where the ID is from. I said ‘Jammu and Kashmir’. They said they don’t allow people from Afghanistan, Balochistan, Jammu and Kashmir, and Pakistan to stay in their hotel. They said it is part of their policy.”


The hotel staff reiterated that they had orders from the police to not allow Kashmiri residents to check-in. Nauman emphasised on the hotel’s rejection before checking for his father’s ID. He said, “They did not even ask for my father’s ID, they just said that you are from Kashmir, and we have orders from the police to not allow people from Jammu and Kashmir, we are just complying with the orders.”


Rafiq pressed the staff to show him written proof of the policy but they claimed the OYO app has all the literature but due to “weak internet it might not show right now’. “It’s very humiliating. When I called the OYO helpline, I was told the policy is that nationals from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan are barred from checking into the hotel,” he said. They later apologised for the inconvenience and offered to shift his booking to another hotel. 


The issue gained momentum as social media tagged OYO and demanded an answer for the discrimination. Thereafter, OYO apologised to Nauman and ensured that they would dig deeper into the situation. OYO customer care and the Escalation Executive Manager, Pradeep Kumar  interacted with Indiatoday and stated that no such policy states that Kashmiri residents cannot be allowed to check-in. 


The Station House Officer (SHO), Karan Singh Rana of the Mukherjee Nagar Police Station completely refuted the claim and stated that the guests were unable to provide the original required documents and had no relation to them being from Kashmir. However, Nauman stated that his father carried four original documents with him but were not even asked for by the staff. 


OYO’s senior guest experience manager, Hari Harpande refuted any such discriminatory policy surrounding residents of Jammu and Kashmir. “The property had denied entry on the basis of some restrictions by local authorities. The feedback of the concerned person has already been submitted and our ground team is working on it,”


The hotel manager Rahul Gautam quoted to The Print stating, “During one of the checks, a beat police officer verbally told us that while the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests are going on and the Shaheen Bagh issue remains, we should not allow customers from Kashmir and Ladakh.” Several media houses are in possession of Gautam’s audio clips emphasising on the “verbal orders” and continuing, “Dekhiye, humara jo hotel hai na, wo police ground ke saath me hai” (Our Hotel is adjacent to the police ground)


Gautam further added that they have orders from the Delhi Police. Talking of their policies he said, “We don’t even accept couples, be it married or unmarried. We don’t have any personal animosity against you, sir. You are also Indian, we are also Indians.”


Hotel receptionist, Balvinder Rana denied any charges of discrimination, he stated how Rafiq had a Delhi Identity Card however the other two guests failed to show a valid ID card. Upon asking the boundaries of an ID card, he informed that the cards and photographs did not match with the guests. Refuting the hotel’s policy of discriminating against people from certain countries he adds, “I can show you the proof, I have many photocopies of people’s ID cards from Jammu and Kashmir. This is a small issue, let’s not blow it out of proportion,” The hotel’s official page mentions the policy rule of ‘No unmarried couples allowed’ and ‘only Indian Nationals allowed’. “The only requirement to stay at a hotel is original documents,” Rana said, continuing, “ It is the habit of some guests to get aggressive at every little thing. They immediately accused us of discrimination when we asked for a valid ID card.” 


Rafiq has decided to seek legal action. Talking of such discriminatory actions in Delhi University and PG’s against those belonging from Jammu and Kashmir, he says, “ I’ll go to court. People who undergo all this humiliation don’t have redressal. OYO shifts blame to hotel, hotel shifts blame to local authorities, local authorities deny involvement. There is no proper redressal mechanism. OYO just apologises every time and that’s about it.”


“I want the courts to issue guidelines for states to frame redressal mechanisms in such cases, And because not everyone can approach courts or even know their rights fully, I want to create a forum of lawyers who will be available to help victims of such discrimination,” Rafiq added.


OYO released an official statement stating the act to be a violation of basic principles of OYO’s ethics. The statement read: “OYO Hotels & Homes is committed to bringing quality living experiences to all our guests from around the world, irrespective of their religion, race, caste and gender. Any such action that tantamounts to discrimination is a serious violation of the basic principles of OYO’s ethos of doing business. As immediate steps, we have temporarily suspended operations with the asset partner.”

Feature Image Credits: The Tribune

Anandi Sen

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In the wake of alleged incidents of the Delhi police visiting college hostels and PGs, and inquiring about Kashmiri residents, Pinjra Tod has written to the Commissioner of Police, Amulya Patnaik, opposing such visits.

Pinjra Tod, an autonomous collective to ensure secure, affordable, and non-discriminatory accommodation for women students across Delhi, has written a letter to the Patnaik alleging that “the Delhi Police has been going college to college, PG to PG in the neighbourhoods of Delhi, trying to identify and mark Kashmiri women students over the past few days.”

Citing an alleged incident, the collective shared that the police went straight to the warden of Miranda House College to collect the list of the names of Kashmiris, and their local and permanent residences. It was only after the intervention of the college Principal that the police returned.

“It would be better if they issued warning to Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs)/hotels indulging in harassment of Kashmiri people instead of surveilling them”, said Pinjra Tod, describing another occurrence which reportedly took place in Jamia Nagar, where the police went to residential colonies, inquiring if women students and working professional staying there were from Jammu and Kashmir.

The collective accused that these visits made in the name of “students’ own protection” has on the contrary, “made people feel threatened and exposed in times when Kashmiri students are already facing public hostility from many corners.”

Pinjra Tod has also said that such “visits have been made in hostels and colleges across the University of Delhi and even off-campus residential areas around Jamia Milia Islamia.”

Linking these visits to the recent abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A by the centre and expressing their opposition towards the same, they said, “A mass hysteria around the triumph of Kashmir has been mobilised to polarize the country, unleashing the most Islamophobic, misogynistic, and genocidal impulses in our society” and these police visits and enquiries have “fueled fears of persecution in an atmosphere where the Indian state has acted against all its own constitutional commitments and past assurances.”

“This intimidation of Kashmiri women students has not stopped with the submission of our letter. Two days ago, Delhi police approached the Indraprastha College authorities and demanded information on Kashmiri students who lived in the hostel. In a context when Kashmiri students are being targeted, harassed and evicted out of houses, these steps taken by the Delhi Police only adds to their sense of insecurity on campus and leads to further targeting,” said Diya Davis, a member of Pinjra Tod.

They have demanded the police to be more “receptive and quick to act on any instances of harassment being reported by Kashmiri students, by landlords, neighbours and others.”

It is to be noted that on 5th August, on the day of the scrapping of the special status granted to Kashmir, Patnaik had issued directions for enhancing police presence in vulnerable areas and places frequented by Kashmiri people such as university campuses and markets in the national capital.

“Enhanced police presence will inspire confidence among the Kashmiri residents,” a senior official had said.

The veracity of the occurrences is yet to be ascertained.


Feature Image Credits: Pinjra Tod


Shreya Agrawal

[email protected]