KU Convocation: Scholars, Faculties Under Scanner

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Srinagar, Sept 22: With its annual convocation barely a few days away, the University of Kashmir has collected information about the antecedents of all the awardees and scholars expected at the event being held in its over 1,900-seat Convocation hall.

Taking no chances with the security arrangements, particularly in the backdrop of recent embarrassments when some participants remained seated while the national anthem was played, the authorities have shared the information with the state’s intelligence agencies.

The KU authorities are also mulling action against a senior faculty member who allegedly did not stand up when the national anthem was played at the recent 8th Science Congress opened by the vice-president, Hamid Ansari.

Official sources told Kashmir Observer that while the convocation to be held next week, the KU officials had sought details of all participating scholars and faculty members. “This information has been shared with the CID and other security agencies. The KU administration is apprehensive of any untoward incident that might occur during the convocation to be presided over by the president, Pranab Mukherjee,” they said.

“The departments had been asked to furnish details about residential addresses, family background and conduct of students during their stay at KU,” they said.

“The authorities are planning to install CCTVs to keep a vigil on the movement and actions of all the participants. These were installed during the Science Congress as well. A few more are being installed to ensure a close watch on the actions of participants,” sources said.

Interestingly, they said, KU was installing the CCTVs to record whether all the participants stood up to the national anthem. “The issue has assumed an embarrassing import for the University administration which is planning to take strong action against a senior faculty member who had allegedly chosen to remain seated while the anthem was played at the inaugural ceremony of the Science Congress,” they said.

It may be recalled the governor, N N Vohra, who is also the chancellor of the University, had taken a strong notice after some students and, apparently, a section of officials too had remained seated when the national anthem was played during a function last year.

To avoid any such “misconduct,” the KU authorities this time have issued a diktat to its officials and students participating in the convocation scheduled to be held September 27 to stand up when the anthem is played.

When contacted, the chief proctor, Prof Muhammad Afzal Zargar, confirmed that the University officials had shared information about the participants with security agencies. “It is a routine. Whenever any high profile dignitary is scheduled to visit here, we have to share the information with the state security agencies,” he said.

Asked about the installation of extra CCTVs in the KU auditorium, Prof Zargar said, “I don’t have any information,” he said.

He also denied that KU was mulling action against any faculty member.

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