Published: 18th February 2019
Engg student from NIT Durgapur beaten up for questioning Pulwama terror attack, Modi's 56-inch chest
The terror attack that took place on February 14, 2019, took lives of at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) paramilitary troopers
A 21-year-old engineering student at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Durgapur, West Bengal was beaten up on February 16 by some of his classmates at the college over a few social media posts the student had shared linked to the Pulwama attack. Srijan Goswami, a third-year student hailing from Burdwan town, returned home on Friday, fearing more assaults at the campus.
Srijan had written some posts and shared others on his Facebook wall which raised questions and mentioned the "56-inch chest hero". He had also shared a post condemning the Pulwama terror attack and offered condolences to the family of the dead CRPF personnel.
Srijan, whose posts have now been deleted said "Why are we seeing such frequent terrorist attacks? Or is it something else to attract the masses and divert the public rage towards surgical strikes and Pakistan… such easy methods to come out as 56-inch chest hero…. Whatever may be the case… lives are not so cheap … the soldiers die whereas the scoundrels rest in air-conditioned rooms and give public speeches, benefiting from death and destruction," one of his posts had said.
The terror attack that took place on February 14, 2019, took lives of at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) paramilitary troopers. The surprise attack by a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber is being considered one of the deadliest after the Uri attack in 2016. Last Thursday, Jaish bomber Adil Ahmed Dar, 20, rammed an SUV loaded with 350 kilograms of explosives into one of the buses that were carrying 35-40 troopers, out of a 78-vehicle CRPF convoy. While 40 were killed during the attack, several injured personnel are still battling for their lives.
A post written in Bengali shared by Srijan from some other Facebook page, which has now been deleted had said: "To cover their own corruption and worthlessness, the leaders play war games with the jawans. The jawans, who are the pawns of the chessboard, die."
Another post shared by him said: "The election is around the corner. Now if some jawans don’t become martyrs, then how can patriotism overflow?"
On February 15, around 3o students came to Srijan’s room in Hall-1 on the campus after their lunch break and told him to delete the Facebook posts. He was allegedly beaten up by them and his shirt torn after he refused to do so. Srijan told the Telegraph that they dragged him outside, pushed and punched him.
"They beat me up for expressing my opinion over a burning issue on social media. I doubt whether I am living in an independent nation," he said. "I told them that my posts were not to humiliate or to send anti-national messages. I expressed my opinion on social media which is my right and I will not delete them,” he added.
Some of Srijan's classmates, however, supported him and tried to rescue him while he was being beaten up.
Srijan’s father Shyam Sundar Goswami, who is a medicine whole-seller, emailed a complaint to the NIT director, asking him to ensure the safety of his son and to punish the youth who attacked Srijan.
Soumen Sen Sharma, the registrar of NIT, said: "It was a very small incident and was solved immediately after it was brought to our notice. We will ask the students not to post anything controversial on social media."
Instances of youth being beaten up or being suspended in colleges across the country have come to the forefront after the attack last Thursday. Four Kashmiri students were suspended from a private institute in Jaipur and later booked for allegedly celebrating the Pulwama terror attack by posting "anti-national" messages on Whatsapp.