Mob assault in Bishkek: Violence Against Indian and Pakistani Students at Hostels in Kyrgyzstan

During mob violence in Kyrgyzstan, Indian students are advised to "stay indoors." PPJ outlines the event, its consequences on students from Pakistan and India, the reactions from the respective governments, and the likely underlying reason for Kyrgyzstan's migratory problems.
Mob assault in Bishkek: Violence Against Indian and Pakistani Students at Hostels in Kyrgyzstan

The previous few days have seen unrest in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, with violent crowds attacking dormitories that house students from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. Following reports that three Pakistani students had died in the incident, New Delhi and Islamabad issued travel advisories for their citizens living in Kyrgyzstan.

According to local sources, there was a scuffle at a hostel involving international students, notably Pakistanis and Egyptians, and locals before the violence broke out. Social media users shared a video of the clash, which they said occurred on May 13, and the violence spread to Bishkek's alleys.

During the violence, students from Pakistan and India were among the targets. Pakistani medical student Muhammad Ihtisham Latif told RFE/RL about his terrifying experience while studying in Bishkek: “The situation is bad here. The situation started when Egyptian students clashed with locals here. The locals are now protesting and they are beating Indian and Pakistani students…. They chase them in their hostels and houses…hostel (doors) were broken. I am locked up in the university along with other students since yesterday and I am sharing my voice with you.”

Amidst reports of assaults on international students and local rallies in Bishkek on Friday night over worries about the increasing number of migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Egypt, and other countries, the Indian government on Saturday advised its residents in Kyrgyzstan to stay indoors.

“We are in touch with our students. The situation is presently calm but students are advised to stay indoors for the moment and get in touch with the Embassy in case of any issue. Our 24×7 contact number is 0555710041,” on X, the Indian Consulate stated.

The crowds spent hours congregating at various Bishkek intersections until breaking up early on Saturday. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the situation was under control. In accordance to the Interior Ministry, neither foreign nationals nor Kyrgyzstani citizens have suffered any losses or injuries.

In the meanwhile, the embassy of Pakistan said,"Kyrgyz government has confirmed that there is no death of Pakistani student in the recent mob violences against international students. Moreover, Kygyz Ministry of Internal Affairs has also issued press releases stating that the situation is under control."

Following the news, scores of comments from social media accounts ostensibly used by Indian students in the capital city of Bishkek requested the Indian authorities to help them. It's believed that the hysterical attacks were sparked by rumors on social media that began following an altercation between international students and local Kyrgyz residents in one of the dorms.

Numerous international students, particularly those from South and West Asia, attend universities in the Kyrgyz Republic and other central Asian countries. Renowned for their medical and technical schools, the central Asian republics have long welcomed international students.

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