A 21-year-old Kashmiri student of a college here, who was briefly arrested on April 9 along with her male friend for allegedly trying to snatch revolver of a police officer in Bharti Vidyapeeth area, has decided to return to Jammu and Kashmir. Sanjay Nahar, President of the Sarhad Organisation which runs the college where Farah Sheikh was a student, today said that she did not want to stay here as she felt “unnecessarily defamed” in the wake of the incident. “Farah approached me today and told me that the April 9 incident has shocked her. She told me that her parents do not want her to stay in Pune anymore and want her to come back to the Valley,” Nahar said.
He said though he tried to convince her but Farah, a third-year student of BBA course at Sarhad College, had already made up her mind to return to her hometown. Nahar said Sarhad had recently organised a talk with former Army chief General (retired) V P Malik here. “During an informal interaction with the former Army chief, Farah expressed her unwillingness to continue her stay in the city,” he said, adding that Malik also tried to convince her to stay back. “She has left her job and her hostel and she is already on her way to her home state,” Nahar said.
According to the police, Farah and her friend Shaurya Dandriyal were arrested on April 9 for allegedly misbehaving with a patrolling team of police personnel in Vidyapeeth area after they were asked not to loiter till late night. Police had said Farah slapped a woman police officer and tried to snatch her revolver. However, Farah alleged that the police attacked her and her 23-year-old friend after she questioned their “high handed” behaviour towards him.
She and Dandriyal were booked under IPC sections relating to assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace and criminal intimidation. They were granted bail on April 9 itself. Following Farah’s allegations against the police, an inquiry was launched into the incident.
Farah, an inmate of a private hostel in Bharati Vidyapeeth area, had told PTI on April 13 that she had gone to Sahkar Nagar near her hostel to hand over some project work to Dandriyal. “On that night, when I came down from my private hostel in Bharati Vidyapeeth area at around midnight to hand over the project work to my friend Shaurya Dandriyal, I saw two policemen on bike talking harshly to him.” “When I intervened and tried to seek explanation from them, they asked us to go home and do not roam till late night. They later started behaving disrespectfully with us and used aggression against us, which prompted me to shoot their video using my mobile phone,” she said.
She claimed that few more police personnel, including a woman officer, came to the spot and tried to snatch her mobile phone. Farah alleged that she and Dandriyal were beaten up by the police. She later met Pune city Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla and apprised her of the incident, following which an inquiry was ordered into the incident. Farah, who stayed in Sarhad’s hostel till 2014, moved out after she started working. She was putting up in a private hostel.
Incidentally, Farah had said that her overall experience with Pune was “very good”. “My overall experience with Pune is very good and the city has given me a lot. While studying here in Sarhad, I have taken a part-time job to meet my expenses. However, the incident has left me shocked and I feel that my career can be in jeopardy,” she had said.