As Governor N N Vohra was attending a departmental function in the Kashmir University, scores of varsity students Tuesday held protest demonstrations outside Institute of Kashmir Studies (IKS) against the civilian killings and arbitrary arrests in a bid to forward a ‘message to the Governor’.
Witnesses said that a number of students assembled outside Institutes of Kashmir Studies, holding placards with several slogans written on them.
According to eye witnesses, protestors also raised slogans in favour of resistance leadership and pledged to continue their support to the leadership.
One of the members of Students Union said “the protest was organized to impress upon the Governor to stop the human rights violation that is rampant in the state,” adding that we were here to deliver a message.
“We were here to aware him about rights violations, killings, tortures and unbridled use of force by the security forces on the innocent people of Kashmir,” he said.
Ahead of Governor’s visit to the University, the security inside and outside the campus was beefed up since Tuesday morning, and only selected vehicles were allowed to pass through varsity’s main entrances. The move, in the name of security gave a tough time to students throughout the day, who had to park their vehicles outside the campus and walked by foot to their respective departments.
It is to be mentioned that there is a blanket ban on the formation and the functioning Student Unions in Kashmir University. Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU), a major students body stands banned since a decade now.
On the other side Governor, who is the Chancellor of the University and the Chairman of Governing Body of IKS, in his interactions with the research scholars and the faculty, emphasized the need for making the Institute a vibrant centre of excellence for undertaking quality research on social, cultural, historical and other issues of contemporary relevance.
The protestors later dispersed peacefully as the Governor left the campus.
Vohra, later in the meeting urged the IKS scholars to pursue research on identified issues relating to the core areas of the Institute’s Charter and, side by side, also undertake analytical studies of major contemporary problems and challenges which face India and her neighbours.
Governor observed that there is need to strengthen the Institute’s infrastructure and research facilities and added that IKS must have wide ranging research programmes which, besides encompassing pure research, also pursue inter-disciplinary studies of the major problems in the South Asia region. Such comparative studies would be of great relevance to policy makers. He also suggested inter institutional linkages being developed with selected national and international institutions some of which are also doing eminent researches on issues relating to South Asia region.
Governor urged the scholars and Faculty to give wide publicity to their research findings and also advised the Vice Chancellor, who is Director IKS, forfollow up on the career paths of the pass outs of the first three batches of the Masters Programme to assess the usefulness of the teaching being carried out at IKS.
Prof. Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi, Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir and Director IKS, participated in the interaction session.
Later, Governor laid the foundation stone of New Administrative Block and a Laboratory Block at the Main Campus and visited the Health Club of the University. He also inaugurated two blocks of the Sheikh-ul-Alam Boys Hostel at University’s Zakura Campus. Governor took a round of the new Hostel Blocks and viewed the facilities being provided to the hostel students.