SRINAGAR: Kashmir University Students’ Union (KUSU) on Saturday said the NIT episode “is a glaring example of how Indian state colonises even the campuses and institutes in the Valley and makes these hostile for Kashmiri students”.
National Institute of Technology (NIT), Hazratbal was closed on Friday following tensions between local and non-locals students, who clashed in the campus over the Indian cricket team’s defeat by West Indies in the T20 World cup semifinal.
KUSU, in a statement issued here, said Kashmiris are not safe “even in their homeland”. “The hegemonic atmosphere created by the outsiders with the full support of Indian forces and establishment is an extension of the state policy of strengthening the occupation and control on Kashmiris,” it said.
“The conversion of Regional Engineering College (REC), Srinagar, into NIT was in itself a planned conspiracy to get hold of educational institutes in Kashmir. This was aimed at creating mini settlements of outsiders which would ultimately change the demography of the students joining these institutes, in favour of India. This loss of an engineering college and its assets has reduced the number of Kashmiri students joining to less than 20 percent from what used to be a decade earlier,” the statement said.
KUSU also protested in Kashmir University and raised banners reading “No NIT, No IIT – We Want Freedom’. “We reject the notion of NIT and have time and again called for restoration of REC. We also condemn the recent hooliganism and stand firmly in support of the fear-stricken Kashmiri students of NIT.”
“Rather begging for more Indian institutes, we should focus on developing and upgrade our institutes and the quality education. Otherwise, in near future, all our institutes are bound to become experimenting laboratories for India’s Hindutva state,” the students’ union said.