Union HRD ministry has 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.
“The Board of Governors of the NITs will be meeting on April 11 where all these issues will be addressed,” the sources added.
The NIT Srinagar campus is grappling with a tense situation since Tuesday following a clash between the outstation students and the police.
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.
A group of outstation students had last night met Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Education Minister Naeem Akhtar along with officials from Union HRD ministry to discuss the situation at the institute.
It is learnt that ministers told the students that security has never been an issue at the NIT but the state government will ensure that concerns on this front will also be addressed. “The ministers asserted that students of the institute have been here at the peak of militancy and no one has ever been harmed,” the sources said.
An official of the NIT also said the meeting was a positive development as the situation inside the campus was improving. Registrar NIT Srinagar, Fayaz Ahmad Mir said it was a positive point that there was no confrontation between non-local and local students.
Meanwhile, few injured students, who want to go home, have approached the authorities, which assured them that the arrangements will be made for their return.
Expressing that the recent events have been “distressing”, Chairman, Board of Governors NIT, MJ Zarabi also made an appealed to the students to help restore normalcy at the campus.
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.