Calm at NIT Srinagar but few non-local students leave

RSTV Bureau
Srinagar: Police and CRPF deployed at National Institute of Technology (NIT) following tension between local and non-local students in Srinagar, April 8, 2016. Photo - PTI

Srinagar: Police and CRPF deployed at National Institute of Technology (NIT) following tension between local and non-local students in Srinagar, April 8, 2016.
Photo – PTI

Over 55 outstation students left the NIT Srinagar campus late on Sunday for their home towns as a result of tension which began two weeks ago. Though, there is calm at the campus, some outstation have been expressing their wish to return home ever since scuffle broke out between the non-local students and police last week.

Some more outstation students are expected to leave the campus too.

“Over 55 students have left the NIT Srinagar campus. As more students have expressed the desire to leave, the actual number of students leaving could be more. It has been decided that they will be allowed to take exams later,” officials of HRD Ministry said.

The Unoin HRD ministry team, camping in the NIT soon after the incident, had assured the students of all possible assistance in case they wanted to leave for home.

Meanwhile, Institute’s Board of Governors is slated to meet on Monday to take up various issues concerning the central institute. The Board of Governors of NIT Srinagar may also discuss issues raised by students of the institute.

In a related development, another demand made by the outstation students to defer the minor exams was rejected by the authorities. The outstation students, including girls, who have been staging protests, claimed that officials of the college and HRD Ministry said the demand was “non-negotiable”.

Earlier last week, the Union HRD ministry had also rejected the demands to shift the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar campus out of Kashmir. The demands were made by a section of outstation students before the panel of central team rushed by the Union ministry after clashes broke out between those students and the police early this week.

“The demand for shifting the NIT out of Kashmir has been outrightly rejected by the HRD ministry officials. It has been made clear to the students,” official sources told the press on Saturday.

The HRD ministry, however, assured the students that their assured the students that their genuine demands like better amenities inside the campus and improving the academic atmosphere will be addressed.

In their meeting with the HRD ministry team, the outstation students had demanded that institute be shifted out of Kashmir, permanent presence of CRPF, action against the policemen involved in lathicharge, protection from any harassment inside NIT, among others.

But those demands, especially shifting of campus and permanent presence of central forces, were strongly countered by the local students who had even submitted a memorandum to the HRD ministry.

It all began last week after a brawl between two groups of students following India’s exit from the T20 cricket World Cup. With some non-local students going on protest and demanding to leave the campus, the situation snowballed on Tuesday after the police lathicharge.

The issue is also emerging as a first serious test for Mehbooba Mufti after she took over as Chief Minister on Monday.