On November 26, 2019, at least one unidentified assailant detonated a grenade just outside the gates of the University of Kashmir while exams were underway, leaving two people injured.
Few details are available regarding the attack. National and local news sources claimed that “suspected terrorists” carried out the attack.
The attack occurred amidst heightened tensions in the Indian region of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), triggered by Parliament’s revocation of special status held by the region on August 5, 2019. The Parliamentary action was followed by the closing of universities—apparently intended to prevent student protests—and the shutting down of internet and other telecommunications systems throughout J&K. The presence of military and police forces on university campuses also intensified during this period.
On the same day as the grenade explosion outside the University of Kashmir, another attack occurred in the city of Anantnag during a government outreach program, leaving two dead and several others injured.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about a violent attack at a higher education institution and offers its condolences to the victims and the university community. State authorities have a responsibility to take steps to prevent violent attacks, to investigate incidents, and to hold perpetrators accountable. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, violent attacks undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.