Kashmir Indepth

Pulwama Attack Fallout: Married in Kolkata, Kashmiri doctor threatened to leave the city


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After various reports of Kashmiris including students, traders and employees were threatened to leave the place, a 42-year-old cardiologist from Srinagar, who has spent the last 22 years working in Kolkata, has been asked by the group of people to leave the city, media reports claimed.

A group of six people called on the doctor at his residence in southeast Kolkata and asked him “to go back home to Kashmir”. Staying in the city would have “consequences” for him and his family, they said, before going away, Times of India reported.

The unnerved doctor, who lives in a housing society on Kustia Road with his wife and two daughters, ignored the threat the first time. But the youths came back again, and he could not ignore them this time. A professor from Ramakrishna Mission Belur Math called up a senior Kolkata Police official, who arranged for a posting of plain-clothed cops in his neighbourhood.

The horror unfolded on Friday afternoon. “There were six youths, aged between 25 and 30, who got down from an SUV parked in front of my residence. All of them, wearing saffron bandanas, stood in front of me and asked us to leave the city at once. Some of them pushed me around and told me to go to Pakistan,” the report quoted the doctor as saying. He couldn’t believe his ears for a while and stood perplexed till the youths left, the report mentioned.

“I have never faced anything like this in this city. In fact, I felt safer in Kolkata than in Srinagar,” the doctor said. He moved to Kolkata 22 years ago and started practising at nursing homes. He married a Kolkata girl and decided to stay back in the city. And in the past two decades, nobody even bothered about his ancestral place.

The doctor ignored the threat the first day, but could no longer feel safe when the same group of youths banged on his door again on Saturday morning. “They threatened to kill my daughters if I did not leave the city. They said I do not have any right to stay here,” the report quoted the doctor as saying.

The doctor frantically called up a friend in Delhi, who had a word with a senior politician. Meanwhile, word had spread to a few humanitarian organizations too. ‘Won’t shift elsewhere since the city has always stood by me’

Shamim Ahmed, a professor with Ramakrishna Mission Belur Math, was alerted by a friend — part of an organisation called “Sahaman”.

“I called up a few senior police officers and the local police station was informed immediately. By Saturday night, plain-clothed cops were posted in front of the doctor’s residence,” Ahmed told Times of India.

The report added that anticipating a panicked reaction, the doctor did not even tell his wife. “I had to tell her when cops came in to ensure our security. An officer from Nabanna also called me up to assure help in case of any trouble,” the doctor said.

Ananya Chakraborty, the chairperson of the West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, got in touch with the doctor too. “They have asked me to shift to a safer place for the time being. But we decided not to do that. This city has always stood by us and I am sure it will continue to do so,” Times of India quoted the doctor as saying.

Earlier, in Bihar, Uttrakhand, Delhi, Dehradun and other parts of the country Kashmiris were asked to leave. The movement came after the 49 CRPF troopers lost their lives in a car bomb attack in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.

Many Kashmiris including traders, students and other private employees were beaten and the life threats were given to them if they don’t go back to Kashmir.

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