NIT Srinagar crisis; no breakthrough achieved so far

Uncertain situation prevailed in the National Institute of Technology (NIT), here, where a clear divide is visible between outstation and local students on various issues, including shifting of the institute to outside the valley and presence of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at the campus. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has dismissed the trouble between local and outside students in NIT Srinagar as a “non-issue”, being highlighted by certain people as a “communal incident. Meanwhile, talks between the agitated students with Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh and Education minister Naeem Akhtar in presence of Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) team and NIT officials has so far yielded no result despite government agreeing to majority of the demands of outstation students.

"We assured the non-local students that all security will be provided to them". Dr Singh said. The administration of the Institute had already announced that any outstation student who wanted to go home would be allowed to appear in the examination later on return. Examination is scheduled to start from April 11 at the campus. The authorities further said those students who wished to skip the examination and leave the campus for their homes will be provided another opportunity to appear in the examination later. However, joining the issue by political parties and debate on national media channel, the situation in the NIT campus has snowballed into a major controversy. Interestingly, almost all separatist organisations, including both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference (HC) besides traders associations have expressed concern over the situation in NIT and said that outstation students are our guests and it was the duty of the locals to provide them all security. Students should concentrate on their studies instead of indulging in politics, they said alleging it was a deep-rooted conspiracy against Jammu and Kashmir.

The outstation students, who are in majority are demanding shifting of NIT outside the valley, action against the police personnel involved in lathicharge in which many students were injured on April 5, action against faulty members allegedly involved in the anti national activities, withdrawal of FIR registered against them (students) and hoisting of national flag within the campus. They also demanded that CRPF should remain deployed at campus. However, the local students opposed the demands of their outstation colleagues saying they were studying in the Institute peacefully together without any discrimination.

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