HRD Ministry rushes team to NIT Srinagar after clashes

RSTV Bureau
Srinagar: A police officer checks identity cards of students at National Institute of Technology (NIT) following tension between the local and non-local students of the institute, in Srinagar, April 6, 2016. Photo - PTI

Srinagar: A police officer checks identity cards of students at National Institute of Technology (NIT) following tension between the local and non-local students of the institute, in Srinagar, April 6, 2016.
Photo – PTI

Tension has gripped the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar after confrontation between a section of students and the police left some students injured late on Tuesday. The campus had last week witnessed brawl between two groups of students after India’s exit from the T20 World Cup.

With situation fragile in the campus, Union HRD ministry rushed a two-member team to the NIT Srinagar campus.

“The two-member team from the HRD ministry has arrived and is holding consultations with NIT officials,” an official of the NIT told the news agency.

A senior official also told that two-member team, which included Sanjeev Sharma, Director (Technical Education) in the HRD ministry and Deputy Director Finance Fazal Mehmood will also interact with the students of the institute to take stock of the situation.

“The mandate is to build confidence amongst students and assure them about their safety,” the official said.

Earlier, a large posse of CRPF was deployed at the NIT Srinagar campus after unrest once again erupted inside the campus.

According to reports, some non-local students allegedly resorted to sloganeering and confrontation with the police, even as the latter tried to reassure that they were safe inside the campus. As they attempted to leave the campus a scuffle ensued between the students and the police personnel posted at the NIT campus.

On the other hand, outstation students alleged they were holding protests and were lathicharged by the police and not allowed to move out of the NIT gate.

“We had sat on dharna and were demanding meeting with HRD officials. We held meeting with NIT administration and they agreed to the demand. We were allowed freely to move out the gate,” said one of the students on condition of the anonymity.

“When we were going out of the campus as per the past practice, police did not allow us and resorted to cane-charge resulting in injuries to several students,” the student added.

Taking serious view of the situation, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also called up Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who took over just two days ago, discussing with her the situation at NIT.

The campus had only resumed classes on Tuesday after it were shut down last week following the clashes between local and non-local students over India’s defeat in the semi-final of T20 world cup.

Following Tuesday’s unrest at the campus, the state government has now once again assured non-local students and their wards of security and safety.

“We assure security to the students of various states of the country studying in NIT Srinagar. Additional security of CRPF has been deployed at the campus,” Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told a news agency in Jammu, adding “We assure the parents of these students that all measures have been taken for the safety of students”.

(With inputs from the PTI)