Landlady calls Kashmiri student terrorist,threatens her in policeman’s presence


A 22-year-old student from Kashmir was allegedly called a “terrorist”, abused and threatened by the owner of her rented accommodation in south-east Delhi’s Amar Colony on Wednesday night, police said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) R.P. Meena said that a case has been registered on charges of house trespass, theft, house break-in, causing hurt, and intending to insult modesty of woman based on a complaint submitted by the victim identified as Noor Bhatt, who lives on the fourth floor of a house in East of Kailash.

Speaking to The Hindu, Ms. Bhatt said that she was in Kalkaji on Wednesday evening and when she returned to the house, where she has been living since June, she saw the lock broken and her belongings stolen. “My furniture, clothes and money were stolen. The whole house was turned upside down. I immediately messaged my sister and then called police,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Bhatt said that the house owner Taruna Makhija came with a man and a policeman and alleged that she had stolen the furniture. “I asked him to check CCTV footage if I had taken anything. The owner couldn’t say anything to that,” she said.

Derogatory statements

Ms. Bhatt alleged that the man who had come with the woman called her a terrorist after which the owner also called her the same. “She said ‘You are a terrorist. Your father is a terrorist. You have come from Kashmir to spread terrorism’,” Ms. Bhatt said, adding that the owner also made derogatory statements pointing at her religion.

“I asked the policeman how he could allow this to happen in front of him,” she said.

Subsequently, senior officers from the police station also came after which Ms. Bhatt submitted her written complaint. “I was standing in the balcony of the house when the owner threatened me about my life. That too, in front of police personnel,” she alleged.

Bill dispute

According to Ms. Bhatt, an incident took place about a month ago when a man came to the house and claimed to be from BSES. Ms. Bhatt claimed that the man had trespassed the house and they called the police at that time as well but the matter reached a compromise. “The owner has a problem with us because we flagged the issue over our electricity bill. Our fourth floor meter was connected with the fifth floor, which we don’t use. The bill was fine for the first month but it was exorbitant for the next month because of fifth floor,” she said.

DCP Meena said: “It has also come to notice that a dispute has also taken place earlier over the payment of rent and not paying electricity bills by the tenant. The electricity was also disconnected by the BSES”.

Police said that the owner Taruna Makhija has also given a written complaint, which is being examined.

Ms. Bhatt also claimed that she has been in the Capital for the last four years and she has been subject to “subtle bullying” because of her Kashmiri identity. “I have been bullied in college. I have been denied accommodation by landlords because I am a Kashmiri. Does being a Kashmiri make me any less of an Indian?” she said.

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