J&K Govt Reaches Out to Non- Local NIT Students
NEW DELHI: Extending an olive branch to non-local students, the Jammu and Kashmir government said it will take "sympathetic view" of the FIRs filed by police in connection with recent violence at the National Institute of Technology.
After holding a marathon meeting with the representatives of agitating students at his Srinagar residence on Friday evening, J&K's deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh said non-local students who want, can go home and their exams, which will start from Monday at the institute, will be held at the time of their convenience.
The meeting at deputy chief minister's residence started at 4 pm on Friday. Apart from nearly half dozen students, representatives of MHRD and NIT Srinagar, J&K's education minister, Naeem Akhtar and DIG Police (Kashmir) were also present.
The J&K Police, which is under fire for lathi-charging non students, has filed two FIRs at Nigeen police station related to arson, stopping a public servant from discharging his duties and assault, against unknown students.
According to officials, a list of 20 students, many of them non-locals, and faculty members of NIT has been prepared by police who will be questioned in connection with these cases.
"It is an open FIR. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered to ascertain facts. Even in normal course of action, FIR is filed. It is not against any person. It is a routine matter. When investigation is complete, it will be looked at sympathetically," Dr Singh said.
He said the police officers who are found involved in the assault on non-local students will be transferred to ensure fair probe into the matter.
"They (students) were satisfied (with the outcome of the meeting). Since there is no union at NIT and they are not elected representatives, they will speak with fellow students. By Monday, I am hopeful that issues will be diluted and normalcy will return to campus," the deputy chief minister said.
A student representative, who attended the meeting, told The Citizen they are yet to take a final call on ending the agitation, "We have called a meeting in the afternoon with other students and we will issue a statement later," he said.
On the allegations that the non-local students are being stopped from coming out, Dr Singh said Section 144 has been imposed on the campus "but no one is stopping them from coming out. They can come out in ones and twos but not in a procession, which have law and order consequences," Dr Singh said.
Dr Singh, who is also a senior BJP leader, said during the meeting, the aggrieved students also complained of lack of wi-fi access on campus and denial of permission to venture out after 6 pm.
"They (non-local students) also complained that the faculty is victimising them. It is a serious matter and it will be looked into by the NIT's Board of Governors. An email will be created for students where they can send their complaints anonymously," he said.
The situation flared-up at NIT on Tuesday when non-local students allegedly manhandled a middle-rung police officer, resulting in clashes during which several students suffered minor injuries in lathi-charge by police.
The students were demanding action against Kashmiri students who celebrated the victory of West Indies in the T20 World Cup semifinal against India, sparking tensions at the institute.