Pardeep Singh Bali
JAMMU TAWI, April 18: It seemed not students but professional goons had taken over the Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) campus in Rajouri.
They vandalized the campus building, destroyed parked vehicles and bikes besides causing huge loss to the university infrastructure. According to reports, tension gripped the University campus, when two student groups clashed with each other over attending classes. Even when the issue of NIT Srinagar is yet to settle, local and non-local students clashed in BGBSU, Rajouri leading to n two student groups led to injuries to many and damage to over half a dozen vehicles.
“The two groups, one from Kashmir valley and other locals entered into clashes over attending classes. While one group was reluctant to attend the class and was pushing for mass bunk while as other group wanted to attend. This conflict led to verbal duels and eventually ended with scuffle and injuries to many students from both sides,” said an eye-witness.
He further added that the clashes were triggered when two individuals from different groups argued over some issues three days back and the situation was controlled by the university administration. “Yesterday also some students tried to disturb the atmosphere, but the timely intervention of administration thwarted it. Today some youth from outside the university came in support of Kashmiri students and fought with local students and in retaliation both groups pelted stones on each other, leaving many injured,” he said and added more than half dozen private vehicles were damaged.
A group of Kashmiri students claimed that the students from Rajouri had sought help from locals, who entered into the Varsity and beat up them. “Three days back, there was some minor quarrel between two individuals, which led to groupism. Kashmir based students were beaten by the local students and also threatened, but with the intervention of administration things were resolved and peace was restored,” said Kashmiri students, adding that today they ‘deliberately’ abused Kashmiri students, which on retaliation took ugly shape.
Meanwhile, local students narrate the different story, saying youth from outside Rajouri came in support of Kashmiri students and triggered the clashes. “We were taking classes when non local students appeared with some youths, and hurled abuses on the local students. We maintained calm and went to report same to the administration, when some youth manhandled with local students and pelted stones,” said group of local students, adding they also retaliated and pelted stones, which led to injuries on both sides.
However, the University administration maintained that the situation has been controlled, which aroused due to intervention of some non-local youth, who had come in support of Kashmiri students. “As per preliminary reports, it has been seen that people from outside university triggered this protest. Youth came in support of Kashmiri students and both sides clashed in retaliation,” said Dean of Students Welfare (DSW) Prof. Mohammad Asgar.
He further said that a committee has been constituted to probe the entire episode especially the involvement of outsiders and the students found guilty of triggering this clash would be punished accordingly. Earlier, following clashes, local students staged protest against University administration for giving free hand to Kashmiri students. However, extra deployment of police was made on the campus to avert any further untoward incident.
Pertinent to mention here that days back, an issue of local and non-local clashes at NIT Srinagar attracted attention of local as well as national politics, wherein people from all walks of life condemned the police action.