2,000 non-Kashmiri students leaving Srinagar NIT as unrest continues

April 12, 2016

SRINAGAR: Nearly two thousand outstation students of the NIT here are leaving the university without taking the ongoing examination due to security reasons following incidents of violence and police lathicharge on the campus.

Of the 2,500 candidates, only 30 per cent appeared in the exam on Monday. The non-local students have been given the option of appearing in the exams later. Of a total of 2,700 students enrolled in various courses, almost one-third are Kashmiris. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development had given the non-local students the option of a separate exam.

These students demand that the NIT should be shifted and action be taken against the police for the lathi-charge. Meanwhile, Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena (BSKS) leader Tajender Singh Bagga who suddenly appeared at the campus here on Tuesday despite his procession of support from Delhi being stopped in Jammu, was detained.

Unrest has been continuing at NIT Srinagar, which saw clashes between local and outstation students after India exited the T20 World Cup, leading to police resorting to lathicharge on the campus.

A group of local students had cheered India's defeat at the hands of the West Indies in the cricket match to which some non-locals objected leading to clashes between the two sides on April 1. The institute was closed thereafter.

The CRPF was also deployed by the authorities who used teargas to quell the protests by local Kashmiri students who alleged that the outstation students bashed them and damaged the college infrastructure. Several students were injured in the lathicharge. According to reports, students of Kashmir University also celebrated Windies’ win the streets chanting ‘Long live Pakistan’. Celebrations were held in other parts of the Valley as well.

With the situation being tense, CRPF was deployed at the campus and Jammu and Kashmir government assured full security to the students from other States.

Feeling insecure, some outstation students attempted to leave the campus last Tuesday but that again led to fresh clashes with the police who tried to prevail upon them that there was no threat to their safety. Police again resorted to lathicharge. The NIT which had remained shut after the initial clashes had reopened the previous day.

Around 150 students who on last Saturday started from delhi for Srinagar to show solidarity with the non-Kashmiri students at the NIT were stopped on the way.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has described the student unrest as a "non-issue". "A handful of non-local students were keen to migrate to other colleges outside the State," she said.

MLA and leader of regional Awami Itehad Party Sheikh Abdur Rashid said in a statement New Delhi should introspect and find answers to 'Kashmir issues'.

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