Unrest prevails in NIT Srinagar; HRD team meets agitating students

Students refuse to cooperate with the three-member central team, demand action against NIT officers involved in the alleged anti-national activities

Srinagar: Tension mounted at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) campus after the agitating outstation students refused to cooperate with a visiting central team demanding immediate action against a few NIT officials, who allegedly indulged in ‘anti-national’ activities.

Students of Jammu University shout slogans during a protest rally against the police action on non-Kashmiri students at NIT Srinagar in Jammu yesterday. Pic/PTIStudents of Jammu University shout slogans during a protest rally against the police action on non-Kashmiri students at NIT Srinagar in Jammu yesterday. Pic/PTI

A three-member team of Human Resources Develop-ment (HRD) Ministry, which arrived at the campus last morning, held talks with the agitating students to defuse the tension. The team comprised Sanjeev Sharma, Director (Technical Education) in the HRD ministry, Deputy Director Finance Fazal Mehmood and Chairman of Board of Governors of NIT M J Zarabi.

The team was rushed by the ministry to take stock of the situation and look into the grievances of the outstation students studying at NIT Srinagar.

In Surat, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said she had spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who assured her that safety of all students would be ensured.

“My officers are in touch with the agitating students and their family members. One or two students said they wanted to go back home for which my ministry is making arrangements,” she said.

Tension started brewing inside the campus, located along the banks of famous Dal Lake, last week after India lost to West Indies in semi-final in the T-20 cricket tournament prompting some local students to rejoice and burst crackers. The outstation students protested this, resulting in clashes.

Omar quips
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah yesterday suggested that rushing a team from HRD ministry to NIT Srinagar and replacing state police with the CRPF hinted at Centre’s lack of confidence in Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

The National Conference (NC) leader said the matter needs ‘tactful handling’ and the state government should look into it ‘without back seat drivers’.

“Rushing in a team from HRD ministry coupled with the CRPF replacing J&K police speaks volumes about Delhi’s confidence in Mehbooba Mufti,” he tweeted.

Fresh protests rock HCU; 83 detained
Fresh protests rocked the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) yesterday as members of the Left-affiliated student unions tried to force their way into the university campus demanding Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile’s removal over the suicide of Rohith Vemula, even as police took into preventive custody 83 of the protesters. Controller of Examination, Professor V Krishna, walked out of a council meeting to express solidarity with the agitators.

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