New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) In the backdrop of Kashmiris being targeted in some parts of the country in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday appealed to state governments to ensure that students from the Valley are treated well and their efforts to join the mainstream encouraged. Also Read - Day After Resigning As J&K Lieutenant Governor, GC Murmu Appointed as Newest Comptroller & Auditor General

Several incidents were reported from various parts of the country in which Kashmiri people were targeted after the February 14 Pulwama terror strike which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus. Also Read - Mahinda Rajapaksa: Former Strongman Back at Top in Sri Lankan Politics

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Azad said as a representative of Jammu and Kashmir in Parliament and belonging to that state, he was saddened by reports that in Agra a hotel put up a board saying Kashmiris are not allowed to stay. Also Read - Pakistan Claims it Asked India to Appoint Counsel For Kulbhushan Jadhav

“This used to happen during the British rule. But this has happened for the first time in Independent India,” he said, adding, people from all regions and religions are standing with the Army following the Pulwama terror attack.

“I want that no political party, individual or section taking advantage of the terror attack, indulges in politics of religion,” Azad said.

He appealed to people to treat Kashmiris who come for trade, business or for studies, well as they want to be a part of the mainstream.

“Those students who have come from Kashmir for studies, it means that they don’t want to be part of terrorism, it means that they don’t want to become terrorists, they want to study and join the country’s mainstream. It means that they condemn terrorism, they reject the appeal and money of terrorists,” the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said.

“I would appeal state governments that in their educational institutions they should not just issue advisories, but send people to colleges and explain to students to help Kashmiris join the mainstream,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.