Unrest on NIT campus as several injured in police cane-charge on non-local students

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April 6:Unrest was witnessed again today at NIT Srinagar, the scene of last week’s clash, with non-local students allegedly expressing a sense of insecurity and attempting to leave the campus, leading to a confrontation with Police which resorted to lathicharge in which a number of them were injured.
As the situation turned tense, CRPF was tonight deployed at campus and the State Government assured full security to the students from other States studying in NIT Srinagar while Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also called up J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and discussed with her the situation.
Spoke to J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti ji regarding situation in NIT Srinagar. She has assured me to look into the issue and take immediate action (sic),” Rajnath Singh tweeted.
Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh also talked to Mehbooba Mufti, who informed   that police has been told to maintain maximum restrain while dealing with the students.
Maintaining that all possible measures will be taken to ensure safety and security of the students on the campus, Dr Singh also appealed the students to exercise calm and not allow the vested interests to take political mileage of the situation. Further, he added, senior officers of HRD Ministry would be visiting the NIT to take stock of the grievances and demands of the students, who will not be in any disadvantage.
However, the former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah did not leave the opportunity to take a jibe on the State Government for deploying the CRPF and, in a tweet, opined that the situation was needed  to be tackled tactfully and not by using the force.
“Two companies of CRPF in a campus is not normal by any stretch of imagination. Requires tact not use of force,” he tweeted late this evening.
The trouble erupted this evening around 5.15 pm when protesting non-local students  tried to leave the campus in the form of a procession and Police resorted to heavy lathicharge, in which more than two dozen students, including girls, were injured.
The protesting students were demanding CRPF  security on the NIT campus in the wake of recent clash between locals and non-locals after T20 India-West-Indies cricket match on March 31 evening.
According to K Rajendra, Director General of Police, the protesting students were trying to come out of the campus in the form of a procession and in attempt to avoid any untoward incident, cops were forced to use mild force, in which a few students sustained injuries. In this regard, Police has also registered a case FIR number 45 at Police Station Nigeen and started investigation.
On the other hand, some of the victim students, in their frantic telephone calls to the Excelsior office, narrated that Police resorted to brutal cane-charge and beat up peaceful y protesters when they were just trying   to meet media persons outside the campus gate for apprising them of their demands.
“We were peacefully protesting on the campus seeking our demands to be fulfilled by the college administration. As soon as we reached near the college main gate for apprising media about our demands, Policemen closed the gate and without giving any prior warning started lathicharging us,” said a student.
As the students ran back to their hostel, the lathi wielding cops chased them and allegedly threw stones at them, which was evident from the pictures of the spot,   sent by them through social media.   The cops allegedly entered Indus Hostel and attacked the students inside their hostels.  l. The cops allegedly beat up girls and even a handicapped student of 2nd year in Electrical branch.
As soon as the news  of brutal Police action  on students reached their parents in Jammu and other parts of the country, panic gripped them fearing threat to safety of their wards. The fear-gripped parents and their family members made frantic calls to different quarters and some of them also visited the Excelsior office here seeking emergency measures to ensure safety of their children.
After a group of such parents called on Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh at his official residence in Jammu, he also rang up Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, DGP K Rajendra and Director of the NIT Srinagar.
“I talked to DGP who assured safety and security of the students and also informed that two Companies of the CRPF have been deployed on the campus while the Director NIT has also agreed for postponement of the exams as demanded by the students,” he said.
“State Government will ensure safety and security of all the students and the Chief Minister is personally monitoring the situation,” he further said.
Meanwhile, MLA Sunder-bani, Ravinder Raina has demanded a stern action against the erring cops and alleged that the NIT episode was a big conspiracy of the anti-national elements who were hell bent to throw the nationalist students out of the Kashmir Valley.  This is worst kind of Human Right violation and those responsible for beating up students, must be severely punished, he added.
Parents of the students also demanded that an inter-ministerial team with Central Government’s nominee, should immediately visit the NIT Srinagar and take all necessary measures for safety of the non-local students there.
Pertinent to mention that the non-local students in NIT Srinagar have submitted a charter of demands to MHRD, seeking hoisting of National flag at the Campus main gate, permanent security  to them from outsiders, who pelt stones at the college students, equality and transparency during all examinations, events and activities held at the college, action against the faculty and administration members, involved in anti-national activities, who also threaten the students and  CRPF deployment for security of the students.
On Friday last, the campus had witnessed clashes between local and  non-local students over India’s defeat in the semi-final match in  the World T20 tournament. After the clashes, the NIT authorities had shut down the institute which was reopened yesterday.

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