NIT: Tense, Probe Ordered
NEW DELHI: The Jammu and Kashmir government Thursday ordered a magisterial probe into the clashes between non-local students and J&K Police at the National Institute of Technology in Srinagar following the WT20 World Cup clash between India and West Indies which sparked tensions on the campus.
"Additional deputy commissioner, Srinagar, has been asked to conduct inquiry into the incident. The inquiry committee will submit its report within 15 days," Naeem Akhtar, the J&K government spokesperson, said.
He added that the officials of the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry and the NIT Srinagar are closely monitoring the situation with the help of the state administration.
The non-local students Friday morning again tried to take out a rally outside the campus. However, the CRPF and SSB personnel chased them away. Under fire from students, the J&K Police was ordered out of the campus since Wednesday.
The deputy chief minister and BJP leader, Dr Nirmal Singh, arrived in summer capital Srinagar from Jammu on Thursday and tried to visit the institute to review the situation, but he was advised against entering the institute due to simmering tensions.
The disgruntled non-local students Wednesday submitted a list of demand to the fact-finding team of the HRD ministry, vowing to continue boycotting classwork until their demands are met.
In a letter to the union HRD ministry, the group has sought "evacuation" of non-local students from the institute, claiming that the atmosphere at the campus was "not conducive" for running the academic affairs.
"We want NIT Srinagar campus to be shifted to any other part of India ..... FIRs to be registered ... against the J&K Police officers who were involved in laathi-charge, tear gas fires and bullet misfires (sic) yesterday (April 5) evening," the letter reads.
The J&K Police has already filed two FIRs in connection with the arson and violence over the last six days on the campus which has sparked communal tensions in Jammu and Kashmir. A senior police official said they have identified the suspects.
"We have collected footage and images of events at the institute since last Thursday. We are preparing a list of suspects who will be called up for questioning in coming days. Two cases are already filed in the matter at Nigeen police station," a senior J&K police officer said.
In an attempt to cool the tempers, authorities Wednesday deployed CRPF and SSB personnel to maintain calm on the campus and ordered the J&K Police, which has become a villain in the eyes of non-local students, to move out.
A faculty member of the NIT said most classes have resumed work and the institute is functioning normally. "The team (of HRD ministry) met those students and they heard their viewpoint. Now I think it is better for them to join classes and wait for the results. By boycotting work, they are only wasting time," he said.
Tensions at the institute are linked to the T20 World Cup second semi final clash during which India was knocked out of the chase by West Indies, sparking celebrations among local students who were rooting for West Indies.
The unrest touched a peak on Tuesday when non-local students clashed with police who tried to stop them from taking out a rally, demanding action against Kashmiri "West Indies supporters", on the main road near Hazratbal, which connects Kashmir Valley with Ladakh region, fearing law and order problems.
In the subsequent clashes, a police officer was manhandled and several students suffered bruises and cuts during lathi-charge by policemen who also fired teargas shells to disperse the rally.