Srinagar: A two-member team of HRD ministry arrived at National Institute of Technology in Srinagar, which witnessed clashes between protesting outstation students and police on Tuesday evening, leaving many students injured.
The HRD team comprising S.K. Sharma, Director NITs and Fazal Mehmood, Deputy Director Finance, along with NIT authorities are holding a meeting with the protesting students to resolve the issue.
Sources said that the authorities have accepted demands of outstation students’ that the examinations be postponed and they should be provided adequate security.
The students also demanded that the local faculty and administration staff at the NIT be replaced by outstation people, a tricolour should be hoisted atop the collage building and a temple must be constructed at the campus.
Besides the J&K police, two companies of the CRPF have been deployed at the campus and situation is tense. Although classes were held on Wednesday, majority of outstation students boycotted lectures in protest and reiterated that they feel insecure.
On April 1, the campus witnessed clashes between local and outstation students in highly emotional and surcharged atmosphere set off by previous day’s win by West Indies over India in ICC Twenty20 semi-final.
The celebrations by local students led to clashes. While local students had alleged that some of their mates were thrashed by outstation students who also damaged the college infrastructure and even misbehaved with faculty members, the latter said that it were the local students who targeted them when they objected to celebrations over India’s defeat. A local courier boy was gravely injured in the clashes.
The police and CRPF, who were brought in by the authorities, had to resort to tear gas canisters to quell the protests by local students seeking action against the outstation students.
On Tuesday, outstation students attempted to leave the campus expressing a sense of insecurity, leading to a confrontation with police, which resorted to lathicharge.
With the situation being tense, CRPF was deployed at the campus and Jammu and Kashmir government assured full security to the students from other states studying here.
Some non-local students attempted to leave the campus and return to their home states, saying, they were ‘not feeling safe’ inside the campus, a police official said. Police personnel on duty at the NIT tried to reassure the students that they were safe inside the campus but they were not pacified, he said.
As the head of the security deployment was speaking to them, a few of the students allegedly resorted to sloganeering and even pushed him around, the official claimed.
He said the other police personnel then resorted to ‘lathicharge’ to disperse the students who were ‘getting violent’. The situation, however, was brought under control shortly, the official said.
Outstation students, on the other hand, alleged that they were holding protests and were lathicharged by the police with brute forces and not allowed to move out of the NIT gate.
"We sat on dharna and were demanding meeting with HRD officials. We held meeting with NIT administration and they agreed to the demand. We were allowed freely to move out the gate," said one of the students on condition of the anonymity.
"When we were going out of the campus as per the past practice, police did not allow us and resorted to cane-charge resulting in injuries to several students," he claimed.