Nearly 250 Kashmiri students studying at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have announced their decision to boycott a lunch invite from the Centre on the occasion of Eid al-Adha on Monday.
The students from the Kashmir Valley have also said that they would stay away from any kind of festivity on the campus.
The lunch is being organized at the university’s guest house.
In a statement, the Kashmiri students said that they were dismayed by the invite, which has political connotation and “aimed at rubbing salts on their wounds”.
“We take this as an opportunity to reject Delhi’s authoritarianism and drama played in Parliament on August 5,” the statement said.
Recently, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had sanctioned Rs 1 lakh each to the designated liaison officers for organizing the Eid festivities for students from J&K who are studying in other states and are unable to come to their homes on the occasion.
According to Kashmiri students at the AMU, Malik has no sympathy for them and the sanction of Rs 1 lakh and an Eid invite is to buy their consent for the undemocratic means adopted by the Indian government.
“The acceptance of the invitation would be an insult to the courage of our parents who are surviving the massive militarization and absolute clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement read.
A senior Kashmiri student said the government never organized any such special meeting for them in the past five years.
“Suddenly, they have started showing their concern for Kashmiris,” he said.
AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai, meanwhile, said he was not aware of the boycott as the university had not received any communication from the Kashmiri students.
Governor Satya Pal Malik had last week ordered setting up telephones in Deputy Commissioners’ offices across Kashmir for students studying outside the state to talk to their families back home in the valley.
In view of the Eid festival, the Governor issued directions that students from outside J-K who wish to go to their homes for the celebration of Eid may be facilitated.
Even after almost a week of Centre revoking the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories, Kashmiri students in Delhi are still not able to communicate with their relatives and parents back home.
The Union government’s decisions were accompanied by a virtual lockdown of Jammu and Kashmir. A curfew-like situation exists in the state as landline and mobile services have been blocked as has the internet.
Terming the situation as “terrifying”, Kashmiri students in the capital expressed their concern.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed muted Eid celebrations as Muslims offered prayers at local mosques amid heightened security.
The Union Home Ministry on Monday said over 10,000 people peacefully offered prayers in mosques across Jammu and Kashmir.