Srinagar: Kashmir University’s Chief Proctor faced students’ fury on Friday when he tried to prevent a protest rally staged against Israeli offensive in Gaza.
Immediately after the Friday prayers, students and scholars of the varsity, under the banner of banned Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU), gathered outside the mosque to stage protests. The proctor, Prof Nasir Iqbal, confronted the sloganeering protesters, and attempted to snatch their placards and banners.
“You cannot protest every second day. Go back to your classes,” he told them.
But his intervention enraged the protesters. They resisted his effort by pushing him back and holding firmly on to the banners they were holding. And disregarding his request, they started shouting slogans against Israel, America, and in favour of Palestine and Kashmir.
“We had Thursday decided about the protest. It was decided that we will gather outside the masjid, stage a protest rally in the campus, and conclude by offering a prayers-in-absentia for the victims of Gaza,” a member of KUSU told Kashmir Reader.
“The proctor objected unnecessarily,” he said.
Not guarded by police or security personnel, the proctor had to step back. The scores of protesters then went ahead with the rally. They marched across the campus, eventually reaching the Central Library where funeral prayers-in-absentia were offered for the victims of Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
Recently, the students’ body organised a seminar on alleged twin rape and murder that happened in Shopian in south Kashmir in 2009. The event had seen participation from a number of girl students as well.
Later, the protesters dispersed peacefully.
Protests over situation in the Valley and in the Muslim countries have become a frequent occurrence in the varsity, which has placed a blanket ban upon student activism on the campus. KUSU has been calling for protest rallies, protest sit-ins, and seminars.
Meanwhile, the varsity officials including the proctor and the security in-charge held a meeting to discuss the incident. No reports of action against any students or scholar were received till late in the evening.