On Sunday, October 24 when India lost their first World Cup match to Pakistan, some Kashmiri students at the Bhai Gurdas Institute of Engineering and Technology in Sangrur, Punjab were found celebrating Pakistan’s victory. As per reports, some of them were later thrashed by students from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. NDTV, like many other news outlets, reported the same but with essential details missing.
The news organisation conveniently avoided mentioning the underlying cause of the students’ brawl. The archived version of the NDTV report can be viewed here.
The headline of the NDTV report published on October 25 read: “Kashmiri Students Allegedly Attacked At Punjab College After India vs Pak”.
The media house began its report by saying: “Several Kashmiri students at an engineering college in Punjab’s Sangrur alleged that they were assaulted late last night moments after India lost its opening T20 World Cup match against Pakistan.”
In the subsequent paragraphs, NDTV mentions the version of a Kashmiri student, and writes about videos showing broken chairs, upturned beds in the hostel rooms of the Kashmiri students and also the hits taken on their bodies. The report read: We were watching the match here. UP waale barged in. We came here to study. We are also Indian. You can see what was done to us. Are we not Indians? So what does Modi say?” one of the Kashmiri students said, while showing around the damage done to a room.
The report also mentioned how the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah condemned the incident and appealed to Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to look into the matter and reassure Kashmiri students.
The NDTV report has almost all the details pertaining to the brawl at the Bhai Gurdas Institute of Engineering and Technology in Sangrur, Punjab, except the statement by Punjab police which confirmed that the Kashmiri students had, during the match, cheered for Pakistan, which led to the scuffle.
Police had revealed that the Kashmiri students chanted Pakistan Zindabad following the team’s victory over India in a T20 World Cup match. OpIndia had reported the same.
Indian Express also quoted a senior police official from Sangrur as saying, “There are about 90 Kashmiri students and around 30 students from UP and Bihar in the college. Kashmiri students stay in 2 wings of the hostel. While the match was on, the students cheered when Pakistan was hitting runs. They also raised azadi slogans.”
“After match ended, students from UP and Bihar went inside the rooms of Kashmiri students and had a scuffle with them. Later, the Kashmiri students also had a scuffle with the students from UP and Bihar. The police and college authorities pacified things overnight,” the police official added.
A report by Times Now also mentioned that while talking to the media, Punjab Police revealed that the incident took place after some slogans were raised after the match on Sunday night.
The NDTV report, however, conveniently skipped the Punjab police’s statement and in what appears to be an obvious attempt to insinuate that Kashmiri students were assaulted because India lost to Pakistan and hence the anger was directed towards them.