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This article was first published 8 years ago  » News » NIT unrest: HRD sends team, students list out demands

NIT unrest: HRD sends team, students list out demands

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 06, 2016 18:45 IST
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IMAGE: Security personnel stand guard at the NIT after clashes. All photographs: Umar Ganie

With tension prevailing at the NIT in Srinagar, a two-member team from the Union HRD ministry on Wednesday held consultation with officials of the engineering institute even as outstation students put forth five demands including action against staff involved in "anti-national" activities.

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

A senior official said the HRD 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.

IMAGE: Damaged windows at the NIT after the clashes.

As tension mounted at the NIT Srinagar campus, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday assured proper security to students studying at the central institute saying there would be no harm to them.

He said he has already spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the prevailing situation at the National Institute of Technology and she has assured that all students will be safe there.

"There will be no problem. I appeal to all students of NIT that they should remain assured that there will be no harm to them," he told reporters.

IMAGE: Parents of students protesting outside the campus.

Singh said Mehbooba has already apprised him about the situation and said all necessary instructions have been given for the security of students.

"She (Mehbooba) assured that all students will be safe. She said an inquiry will be conducted to find out how the incident happened and also fix responsibility," he said.

The home minister said security personnel have been deployed at the engineering institute after the tension there.

"I have also spoken to the Secretary in the HRD Ministry yesterday and I told him to send two director-level officers to NIT Srinagar so that they can talk to the students and instill confidence in them and if there is any problem they should take steps. Accordingly, two officers have gone there," he said.

IMAGE: Students presenting identification before entering the campus.

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

As the HRD team arrived in Srinagar, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the matter needs "tactful handling" and the state government should look into it "without back seat drivers".

"Rushing in a team from HRD ministry coupled with the CRPF replacing J&K police speaks volumes about Delhi's confidence in Mehbooba Mufti," Omar wrote on Twitter.

With the situation being tense, the Central Reserve Police Force was deployed at the campus on Tuesday night. The Jammu and Kashmir government assured full security to the students from other states studying at the NIT.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also called up Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and discussed the situation with her.

On Friday last, the campus had witnessed clashes between local and outstation students over India's defeat in the semi-final match in the World T20 tournament.

After the clashes, the NIT authorities had shut down the institute which was reopened on Tuesday.

Unrest was witnessed again on Tuesday at the campus, with outstation students expressing a sense of insecurity and attempting to leave the campus, leading to a confrontation with police which resorted to lathicharge in which some were injured.

In a letter to the management of NIT Srinagar dated April 4, the outstation students have listed five demands that, they feel, would enable them to peacefully reside at the campus and concentrate on their studies.

"Due to the anti-national activities rising in campus premises, students not local to Srinagar have faced serious problems as well as life threats. Due to the cold situation in Srinagar, students are eager to reach their homes," the letter said.

"National Flag should be hoisted at main gate/fountain (The state flag may be hoisted as well)," the students demanded. 


IMAGE: Damaged windows at the NIT after the clashes.

“We take responsibility of all the students from across the country studying in the NIT. We have put in place all the security measures,” Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh had said.

Administration has held meeting with the NIT students to resolve the issue, Singh said, adding the senior superintendent of police, Srinagar, is camping in the area to ensure peace.

He said the outstation students are demanding security and postponement of exams.

“The director of the NIT has said that the demands have been accepted,” he said.

Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah, meanwhile, criticised the Centre’s dealing with the issue and described the CRPF deployment in the institution as ‘abnormal’, asserting that the situation called for tact not force.

Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh also said that the HRD ministry will look into the matter.

"I spoke to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as well. The Union home minister has constantly been in touch with the CM. Force needn't be used against students," he said.

He also asked students to maintain peace, 'otherwise external elements come in to gain political mileage'.

Singh said HRD Minister Smriti Irani has informed him about the situation at the institute after talking to Mehbooba.

"She (Irani) also said that Mehbooba ji has assured that all students will be safe," he said.

Demands by non-local students

According to CNN-IBN, the protesting students have made the following demands:

1. The national flag shall be hoisted on the campus, along with the state flag. 

2. The management should arrange for permanent security for students at the NIT from miscreants who often pelt stones at them.

3. The university administration should make sure that equality and transparency is maintained during all examinations in the campus. While demanding postponement of exams in college, the students be assessed by non-local faculty to ensure they are fairly marked in the exams. 

4. Central forces should be engaged for the security of NIT students. 

With inputs from Muktar Ahmad in Srinagar

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