Kashmiri students allegedly manhandled by Punjab Police

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Allege fraud, Edu Min in touch with MHRD

SRINAGAR: Punjab police has allegedly manhandled scores of Kashmiri students who are studying various engineering and management courses after they protested against a move by some colleges, especially in Chandigarh area, to affiliate with Maharaja Ranjit Singh State University MRSSU which isn’t recognised in Jammu Kashmir.

According to the students, the move is likely to endanger their career as their degrees shall be deemed as invalid in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, these institutions were affiliated with Punjab Technical University (PTU).

“I joined the institution in 2014 and for the first year our results were declared by the Punjab Technical University (PTU),” a student who is pursuing MBA from Swami Vivek Anand Institute of Engineering & Technology, informed over phone. “This year, our results were declared by some other college which is unrecognized by Jammu and Kashmir government; this is simply ruining our careers.”

The PTU has been divided and Maharaja Ranjit Singh College is now new deemed university which has been assigned to give away degree certificates which is not recognized in J&K.

The students had gathered in the Aryan Group of Colleges campus to demand a refund of their fee and return of their original testimonials but they were reportedly manhandled by the Punjab Police. “Certificates issued by the PTU are recognized by J&K government,” one of the students said. “The Punjab government recently approved establishment of Maharaja Ranjit Singh State University (MRSST).”

“The territorial jurisdiction of this University are the colleges in Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Moga, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Patiala and Sangrur districts of the state.  Our colleges fall in these areas, thus come under the domain of this university.”

The students have decided to cancel their admission and asked the authorities to refund their fee but have so far been denied so. “They’re not returning us our fee as we don’t want to study here anymore,” a student rued. “We request the J&K Education Minister, Naeem Akhtar to intervene in the matter and safeguard our careers.”

Commenting on the issue, an official in Education Ministry said that it’s the duty of a student to verify the credentials of a university or a college from the HRD ministry and state education ministry websites. “Looks like the students are themselves responsible as they should have checked the validity of the colleges,” he said.

The official further said that Education Minister, Naeem Akhtar, has already raised matter with union Human Resource and Development Ministry. “We’re looking into the matter and something shall be done soon in this regard,” he assured.

Further, the official asserted that state of J&K has no legal authority to intervene in cases pertaining to other states and hence, J&K Education Ministry cannot interfere in the matters of such colleges. “Students should knock the doors of local courts of Punjab if the colleges are not returning them their certificates; this is criminal attitude.”

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