KU Campus Turns Into Battle Ground, Classes Suspended

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‘Police not giving grounds of detention’: VC

SRINAGAR: Situation in Kashmir University took an ugly turn on Thursday afternoon as guards of the university proctor resorted to aerial firing to disperse the students who were protesting against the continued detention of a fellow student by police.

Eyewitnesses said for the second straight day, the students boycotted their classes and assembled near Vice Chancellor’s secretariat demanding release of Muzamil Farooq Dar, an English department student.

Dar was arrested by police during nocturnal raid at his rental residence at Sadrabal area of Hazaratbal in connection with his alleged role to stop University from organizing Yoga Day in the campus.

On Thursday the students raising slogans against the KU administration besides pitching: “Hum Sab Muzamil Hai (We are all Muzamil) assembled outside VC Secretariat. 

According to agitating students, the Vice Chancellor Prof Khursheed Andrabi came out in the morning and sought two hours to settle the matter. “He went inside and didn’t return till 3 PM. This infuriated students and one of the students threw a stone towards a window of VC secretariat,” the students said, adding: “within no time, the chief proctor of the varsity directed his guards to open fire and they resorted to aerial firing.”

Witnesses said that soon after aerial firing, hundreds of students including boys and girls ran for their safety. “The agitating students then resorted to heavy stone-pelting,” witnesses said, adding that the varsity authorities brought contingents of police inside the camps who resorted to cane charge. Senior police officers were also present on the occasion, the witnesses said.

“The police men thrashed boys as well as girl students. They went berserk and resorted brutal cane charge,” said a student of Management Studies. He said the clashes inside the campus continued for about 30 minutes and the situation was tense till evening as many students were trapped inside the varsity premises. “A total of 5 to 6 students were injured due to clashes,” the eyewitnesses said.

Despite repeated attempts, no KU official was ready to comment over the issue. The mobile phone of KU Vice Chancellor was also switched off.

Meanwhile, the KU spokesman in a statement said that the University has suspended class work in its Main Campus till June 27.

Regarding today’s incident, the spokesman said: “The University authorities held several rounds of negotiations with the protesting students, urging them to call off the protests in the light of the fact that the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor had taken up the matter with the State Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and Inspector General of Police (Kashmir), seeking their intervention in the matter. The students however refused to call off the protests and without any provocation resorted to heavy stone pelting on the administration block and damaged the University property. The University security chose to exercise maximum restraint to safeguard the student interests.”

The KU in a separate notification directed all the students to vacate the hostels by 9:00 AM Friday. The KU further said that the hostels would remain closed from tomorrow till further orders.

The students of the varsity have slammed KU authorities for asking them to vacate the hostels. “We have decided to erect tents in the varsity premises and we will not leave,” they said, adding: “we are doing arrangements for the setting up tents.” 

Police Not Giving Grounds of Detention: VC

KU Vice Chancellor, Khursheed Iqbal Andrabi said that police is not elaborating and giving the grounds of Muzamil’s detention. “I talked to IGP and DGP urging them to release Muzamil without any delay. First they said that Muzamil has been arrested in connection with militancy. At least the police should elaborate so that we could communicate to protesting students accordingly,” Andrabi said.

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