NIT stalemate should end as students’ demands met: Dy CM
Representatives of protesting non-local students of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar again met Jammu and Kashmir’s deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Saturday even as they continued boycotting classes.
After meeting the students, Nirmal Singh said they demanded high speed Internet, uninterrupted electric power supply and other professional facilities. “They are professional students who need things like high speed Internet connectivity, uninterrupted electric power supply and other professional facilities,” the deputy chief minister said after meeting the student representatives.
“We have assured them that these demands would be immediately met,” he said.
The non-local students of the NIT are, however, continuing their protest and staying away from classes in the college.
On Friday, Nirmal Singh, education minister Naeem Akhtar, NIT director Rohit Gupta, a three-member team of the union human resource ministry, senior civil and police officers of Jammu and Kashmir government held over five-hour deliberations with the representatives of protesting non-local students at the official residence of the deputy chief minister in Srinagar .
The deliberations remained inconclusive although Nirmal Singh said most of the demands of the protesting students had been met.
Among other demands, the students want action against policemen who allegedly entered the NIT campus on April 4 and beat them up.
Police maintain the protesting students indulged in violence, damaging public property and roughing up a senior police officer.
The state government has ordered a probe by the additional district development commissioner Srinagar into the NIT unrest.
The enquiry officer has been directed to submit the report within 15 days.
The three-member team of the HRD ministry will also submit its report on the NIT unrest to the union ministry.
To instil confidence among the non-local students, paramilitary troops have been deployed inside the campus.
There are around 1,500 non-local students in NIT Srinagar who are attending professional courses at various levels for the four-year degree course.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who arrived here on Saturday for the first time after taking over the reins of power, held a meeting with the district chiefs of the civil and police administration at the Sher-e-Kashmir international convention complex (SKICC) on the banks of the Dal Lake.
Mufti said on Friday the incident at the NIT was a “non-issue and certain people are trying to highlight it as a communal incident”.
She also said some non-local students at the NIT are interested in seeking migration to colleges outside the Kashmir Valley.
Mufti ‘appreciated’ senior hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for appealing to local students to protect the non-locals and restore normalcy at the NIT.
Meanwhile, exams for various courses at the NIT are scheduled to begin on Monday and the college management is expecting all the students to appear for them.
Jammu-Srinagar highway blocked
Students from four local colleges on Saturday blocked the strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district. Police and civil administration called the principals of the four colleges who spoke to the agitating students after which the students dispersed.
The blockade of the highway continued for one-and-a-half hours.
The agitating students said they had blocked the highway to express solidarity with the protesting students of the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar.