'We would have joined them if they wanted to develop the college, but their motive is political.'
On March 31, India lost the T20 World Cup semi-final against the West Indies. Thereafter, clashes broke out at the National Institute of Technology in Srinagar.
When Kashmiri students at the NIT celebrated India's loss, non-Kashmiri students objected and a ruckus ensued.
The next day non-Kashmiri students, bearing the Tricolour, staged a protest march. Classes were suspended. On April, 4, classes resumed, but the non-Kashmiri students did not attend.
On April, 5, non-Kashmiri students tried to leave the campus to speak to the media. They clashed with the police. The Union human resources development ministry rushed a team to visit the NIT campus and talk to the students. The team noted the students' demands and said they would take a decision after they returned to Delhi.
Ganesh spoke on Friday to a Kashmiri student about events on the NIT campus this past week. Like the non-Kashmiri student, this student too spoke on the condition that he would not be identified by name for this report.
I am a day scholar student, so I was not on campus on the night of March 31. But I heard what happened from other students.
There was a small fight after India lost the T20 match. There was a small celebration by the local students. The non-local students objected and so there was a fight.
It was a small fight, but now it has become a big issue because of politics.
There is no academic harassment here. Most of the toppers in every class are from outside.
On April, 1, I came to college in the morning. There were normal classes in the morning. When we came back from namaaz, non-local students were shouting about what happened the previous night. Local students also started shouting. The situation worsened.
The police were called. They brought the situation under control. Then the non-local students brought the National Flag and started shouting slogans.
Both sides started throwing stones at each other.
The police released tear gas. All the students ran away. The situation was brought under control.
The students went back to the hostel. Notice was given to vacate the college and classes were suspended.
The police spoke to the students in the hostel. They agreed that there would be no violence. Saturday and Sunday were holidays.
On April, 4, the non-local students told us they were fighting the NIT administration and not the local students. The non-locals students are being manipulated by outsiders.
We would have joined them if they wanted to develop the college, but their motive is political.
They want to shift the college. They want 50% of the faculty from outside. So we did not join the protest.
We attended classes. We continue to attend classes. They (the non-local students) are sitting outside and shouting slogans.
On April, 5, my classes got over at 4 pm. I did not see what happened after that. I heard from other students that the non-local students tried to march out of the college. The police stopped them.
The police told them they could go out in small groups, and not the entire lot at one time. They did not listen.
The police lathi-charged them. Then they went back to their hostel. Some students were injured.
On April, 6, a team from the HRD ministry in Delhi visited our campus. They spoke to the students. The non-local students have given them a list of demands. These demands cannot be fulfilled. They are asking for the faculty to be changed. They want the college to be shifted.
They are being exploited by outsiders. They are being made scapegoats. We have no grudges against them. We want them to attend classes and resume their education.