Talks between the government and out-station students of National Institute of Technology (NIT) here have failed to end the deadlock as the boys and girls stuck to their demands, including shifting the institute out of the Valley.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is expected to fly down to the summer capital Srinagar from Jammu, a day after her deputy Nirmal Singh met representatives of protesting non-local students and held five-hour long talks with them on Friday. Education Minister Naeem Akhtar, a three-member team of Union Human Resources Development Ministry, NIT-Srinagar Director Rohit Gupta and senior civil and police officers were also present in the meeting held at Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh’s official residence here.
Ruling out possibility of shifting National Institute of Technology from Srinagar, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh’s said that the demand was beyond consideration and cannot be accepted under any circumstances. It said that faculty and other indoor management related demands are seriously being looked at and would be addressed soon.
Singh also stressed that the security of the Kashmiri students outside the state was seriously being ensured and said that Children of any state including Jammu and Kashmir were alike, and shouldn’t be polarized for the sake of political gains. Dr. Singh said that the state government was closely monitoring the NIT situation and hoped the normalcy would return on the campus very soon.
He said that he along with Education Minster and HRD team met with the agitating students and assured them of the redressal of their genuine demands that included improving the facilities inside the campus. “There are faculty shortage, electricity, hygiene related issues besides scarcity of medical facility on the campus. We have assured them of bringing improvement in these areas. They also complained that girls are not being allowed to move out from hostels after 6 PM. We are addressing that issue also,” said Deputy Chief Minister.
He however, made it clear that the demand of shifting NIT from Kashmir was unthinkable. “HRD ministry has also said that the demand cannot be accepted. So is the stand of the state government on it,” said Singh, adding that any decision on the demand of action against police officials would be taken only after the Magisterial enquiry is completed and tabled.
“The magisterial enquiry is a wholesome process which will include every event that led to this kind of situation. Let that be completed first.” Deputy CM said. While rejecting the assertions of JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik, BJP leader said that students from Kashmir were safe in other parts of the country and added that their (Kashmiri Students) security was the responsibility of whole Nation.
“Children are children. They should not be differentiated on the basis of region or religion. We are committed to their security wherever they are. Home ministry has been seriously monitoring the security of Kashmiri students outside state,” said Deputy Chief Minster. He ridiculed the rumors that BJP was planning to launch ‘NIT Chalo’ march from New Delhi and said rumor mongers were hell bent to create confusions.
He appealed people to desist from ‘politicizing’ the students issues and said polarizing students for political gains was the worst form of politicking. “I have stayed away from NIT campus only to send a message that institutions should not be used as political platforms. Let all help children to make their carriers rather than polarizing them on petty issues.” said Dr. Singh.