Opposition alleges discrimination against valley, stages walkout

Opposition, including National Conference (NC) and Congress, today staged a walkout from the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly against alleged discrimination with Kashmir.

However, Independent MLA Er Sheikh Abdul Rashid stormed into the Well of the House demanding justice with Kashmir.  After Education Minister Naeem Akhtar answered a question regarding setting up of IIT and IIM in Kashmir valley at par with Jammu, Er Rashid, who raised the issue in the Lower House, asked the government if it was waiting for a Jammu type agitation to happen in Kashmir before it will grant these premier institutes to the valley.

Er Rashid said initially AIIMS was given only to Kashmir and IIM was given to the winter capital, but after agitation in Jammu it was also given AIIMS. “We are not against Jammu getting an AIIMS, but if you can have two AIIMS why can’t you have two IIM and IIT for both the regions. If giving AIIMS to Kashmir and not to Jammu was discrimination, then giving IIM and IIT to Jammu and not to Kashmir is also discrimination,” he said.

Education Minister was quick to respond, saying that both of them can’t be compared. “AIIMS is a hospital, and IIT and IIM are educational institutes, you can’t compare them” he said. However, the opposition rejected the login given by Mr Akhtar and asked the government to come clean on its stand on setting up the institutes in Kashmir valley.

“We are not against the setting up of IIT and IIM in Jammu, but why discrimination with Kashmir which has got nothing,” the NC members were seen shouting in the House. As the Speaker Kavinder Gupta didn’t allow any further discussion on the issue, Member from NC and Congress led by Leader of Opposition Omar Abdullah staged a walkout from the House.

Meanwhile, Er Rashid, who was shouting from his seat on the issue, finally stormed into the Well of the House and wanted to know why no IIT or IIM has been sanctioned for Kashmir. Later, Er Rashid also staged a walkout from the House. Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi on May 1, 2016 for setting up of IIT in Jammu.

Government in its reply said that the centre had announced setting up o IIT in Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala and also decided to open an IIM in the state. “However, PM Reconstruction Plan package for Jammu and Kashmir inter-alia mentions establishment of IIM Jammu, with possibility of our campus in Kashmir. As such the matter would be taken up with the Government of India (GoI) at appropriate time after establishment of main campus at Jammu. With regards to IIT for Kashmir, the issue may be taken up with the GoI on similar lines at appropriate time,” the reply added.


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