Students of Delhi’s St Stephen’s Write to PM on Kashmir Situation
After more than 50 days of communication clampdown and continued restrictions in Kashmir, some students at St Stephen's College in Delhi have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing their concerns on the condition of people in the Valley.
Around 73 students from St Stephen's College used yellow post cards to make their appeals on the communication ban in Kashmir, said Ashley Np, an assistant professor at the college, in a Facebook post.
The students reportedly staged their first event with the student letter-writers walking around the college campus wearing black clothes, with a red ribbon tied their arms, and the post card appeals for the PM pinned on their bodies.
The students, who took to writing for “emotional and ethical reasons”, wrote both as “concerned citizens of the country” and as friends.
“Many of them have Kashmiri friends and they say it is disheartening for them to see their friends not being able to connect with parents for days on end or seeing them worried without proper communication mechanism,” the professor further said in a post.
According to the Facebook post, one of the cards exhibited read:
“Dear Mr. PM, I have classmates who belong to Kashmir. Seeing their faces just makes me feel bad about the present condition. Sir, Kashmiris are also people and the citizens of the country, I cannot imagine how enraged I would feel if someone did that to me. Think of it, sir. What if you didn’t know whether your parents are alive or dead...And sir, it has been more than a month since the abrogation of (Article) 370. We are sure you can find other ways to safeguard the security of our country. Please uplift the communication ban, sir, we implore you!”
Connecting two communication failures, another student reportedly said "Hon. Prime Minister of India, Chandrayan II didn't reach the moon. Nor did my friend's Eid wishes to her mom back home. A humble request to let the free flow of communication resume in the valley".
According to the professor, while some students were ambivalent about the abrogation of Article 370, some supported the government’s J&K move. However, all of them (students) were of the opinion that curbing the fundamental human rights of fellow citizens ethically wrong and therefore, must be ended.
Restrictions were first imposed across Kashmir on 5 August when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate the state into two Union territories.
The restrictions were lifted in phases from many parts of the valley as the situation improved with passage of time.
However, the authorities have been imposing restrictions in vulnerable areas of the Valley every Friday, apprehending that vested interests might exploit the large gatherings at big mosques and shrines to fuel protests, PTI reported.
Friday prayers have not been allowed at any of the major mosques or shrines in the valley for over a month now.
(With inputs from PTI)
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