Srinagar: The India-West Indies cricket match row at Kashmir’s National Institute of Technology refuses to die with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) sending a three-member team to Srinagar on Wednesday.
The MHRD members and the NIT Board Chairman also interacted with local as well as non-local students in the campus and both the groups presented their demands.
NIT Registrar FA Mir, however, feigned ignorance about the demands the students submitted before the team. “The team interacted with students on Wednesday afternoon and will stay here tomorrow also. They were briefed by the administration about the events,” Mir told Kashmir Reader.
It was learnt that the non-local students, who have boycotted classes and are agitating, iterated their demands submitted to the MHRD on Monday. They said non-local students are facing threats because of “anti-national activities” in the campus. They listed their demands, including shifting of the institute for non-locals to some other place in India, hoisting of the Indian tricolor at the main entrance along with the state flag, permanent security from outsiders/locals “who throw stones at college students”, and “equality and transparency during examinations, events and activities” and no “academic harassment by the faculty”. Also, they have demanded that action must be taken against faculty and administration members “involved in anti-national activities” and violence.
The students also said instead of JK police central forces should be deployed as the former had “not provided them security”. They also wanted that “full coverage of events” should be provided to the media.
The local students demanded that the controversy should not be politicised, while seeking action against the students who damaged campus property. They also told the team that the agitation should end as their academic session is being affected.
While classes are on, the non-local students continue to boycott them as they want their demands to be conceded before resuming work.
Mir said the classes saw thin attendance as almost all the non-local students continued the boycott on Wednesday as well. “The local students attended classes,” he added.
The controversy erupted on Friday when non-locals protested against local students for celebrating India’s defeat against the West Indies. Both groups raised slogans against each other while non-local students wanted to hoist the Indian flag in the campus.
Police acted against both the groups, prompting the administration to shut the college for two days.
A non-local student, wishing anonymity, said the MHRD has to assure them about their safety because they feel “insecure” in the campus. “We were beaten up by local police yesterday. We have been demanding strict action against the police officials involved,” the student said.
However, a police spokesman said a mob of about 500 NIT students attempted to come out on the main road, assaulted police officials and damaged property. The police chased the mob and in the melee some of the students were injured, who were given first aid, he added.
National Conference President Omar Abdullah, however, hinted that New Delhi lacks confidence in Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. “Rushing in a team from HRD ministry coupled with the CRPF replacing Jammu and Kashmir police speaks volumes about Delhi’s confidence in Mehbooba Mufti,” he tweeted.