At a time, when the death of a student from Doda in Punjab is still a mystery, a recently posted lecturer in National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship Management (NIFTEM) Sonipat, Haryana from south Kashmir’s Awantipora Monday returned to the valley for the fear of his life.
Tawheed Amin Malla, 25, packed his bags from Haryana on Sunday and returned to the valley on Monday morning after some unidentified men warned him of ‘dire consequences’ in case he won’t leave the campus immediately.
Amin was threatened and directed to leave Haryana, after which he returned only to save his life. “The world has squeezed for Kashmiris,” he said adding “I preferred life over job.”
Recently, a Haryana based NIFTEM had floated an advertisement for two posts in Food Technology across India. Amin, a B.Tech gold medalist from Islamic University (2011) also applied for the post.
A first rank holder in M.Tech from Amity Noida (2013), Amin thought his chances are bright for the post since he has some 30 international and national publications under his belt.
And then on Jan 3 this year, he appeared for an interview in front of six panel board headed by Vice Chancellor NIFTEM.
“I answer all the queries, and received lot of appreciation and praises from the board,” Amin told Kashmir Life soon after he returned to Srinagar. “In an interview itself, I was informed that I have been selected.”
Amin left the room with a big smile on his face, but he hardly knew that he wouldn’t be smiling for so long. Being the only Kashmiri in the institute, he soon faced the reality.
On Jan 4, the head of department, Food Technology, Dr Ashtosh Upaday called him and formally informed him that he has been selected for the post.
And then, on Jan 13 Amin stepped into the campus and two days later, he formally joined. By Jan 17, he was lecturing in the classroom.
“Students gave me a good response,” says Amin, “In fact, when my head of department asked them [students] about my teaching skills, he was satisfied by the response.”
Later in that evening when Amin was returning to his room after taking dinner, some three men intercepted his way. “It was raining, and the campus was dimly lit,” he says.
And then, the men told him: “Go away from here, or consequences will be very bad for you.” Being alone, Amin was left terrified by the warning. He ran for his life, and contacted security guard in the campus. He also contacted his HOD, who assured him help.
The very next day, he called his father in the valley, who took the next flight to be at the side of his frightened son.
“I was asked by dean students welfare, registrar and his HOD to maintain quiet over the matter,” says Amin. “But from their body language, I felt insecurity.”
However, no official responded to call when Kashmir Life tried to reach them for their comments on the issue.
He has quit his job for the sake of his life.
“I don’t want to go back, never,” he told Kashmir Life. “But the episode like this should come to public notice for the larger good of the society.”