Hyderabad: The Centre has appointed an officer to link up with Kashmiri students at Central universities in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai.
The J&K Students Association of the University of Hyderabad has, however, turned down the invitation of the officer, Ashwin Kumar, to meet on Id to hold talks.
The association, comprising 50 students, instead attended afternoon prayers and held a mini-celebration within the campus.
Hadif Nisar of the Association told Deccan Chronicle, “The liaison officer currently at HCU called on me to hold talks, which we refused. On Monday, he met a few students informally over tea near the canteen, but they were not connected to Jammu & Kashmir Students’ Association.”
Hadif Nisar of the Association told Deccan Chronicle, said, “He had also come to the campus post the Pulwama attack (on February 14) and even then students from Kashmir refused to meet him. We (the association) are not clear about the purpose of his visit."
Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has sanctioned Rs 1 lakh to each of the designated liaison officers for organising Id festivities at central universities.
Like Kashmiri students from Aligarh Muslim University, Kashmiri students in HCU too refused to have lunch offered by the liaison officer calling it an attempt to buy their consent on Kashmir’s bifurcation.
“I clarified to the officer that the association has no problem with him, but we objected to the Centre’s stand on Kashmir. Meeting him will give it a political connotation. The officer tried his best to convince us, even asking us to keep aside his official position and talk to him as a friend, but we refused all offers,” Hadif Nissar said.
For the 150 Kashmiri students at MANNU who are unable to communicate with their families because of the blackout of all communication in J&K, Bakrid was a simple lunch in the hostel dining hall of the university. The students had saved up to pay for the Id lunch even though they are running low on finances.
The students are naturally angry and disappointed at the continuing clampdown in the valley, now in its eighth day. This comes after the Centre abrogated Article 370 and its stem 35A. The students refute claims that certain service providers have relaxed communication network on Id.
PhD scholar Imitiyaz from Pulwama district of J&K, said that he has been cut off from all communication with his family since August 5.
“It is a complete blackout. I can produce evidence that all numbers, even of bureaucrats, have not been in operation for eight days. The narrative of the government that communication has been relaxed is wrong. My family lives in a remote village in Pulwama. Only Allah knows if they are safe or alive,” says Imtiyaz who is dong his PhD in Mathematics from MANNU.
“If the situation in Kashmir was normal as per the government’s narrative, then all Kashmiris, including students, would have gone to their homes for Id. The festival for us at MANNU was a simple meal, sponsored by Kashmiri native Ms Sameiara who sent food for the students,” said Mudasir Nazir, whose parents live in Pulwama district while he does his PhD in English at Urdu University. He added that it would have brought them some relief if they had been able to speak on the phone to their parents on Id.