Trouble Spirals ‘Out Of Control’ at NIT

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Srinagar: Fresh trouble at the National Institute of Technology is posing a serious challenge for the new PDP-BJP government as Centre Wednesday rushed a three-member team to discuss the situation.

The team from the HRD ministry visiting the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Jammu and Kashmir will remain stationed there till the exams are over, union minister Smriti Irani said on Wednesday.

The team had met the students, whose concerns will be addressed, the human resource development minister told reporters here. The NIT exams will begin on April 11.

“The information in public domain is that some children are worried that there will be an unfair treatment with them vis-a-vis their marksheets,” Irani said.

“We have talked to around 500 students; they did not express any apprehension about their marksheets,” she said.

The minister said a district-level inquiry had been ordered by the Jammu and Kashmir government to ascertain what happened on the NIT campus.

“Some students said they want to go home. We are arranging for that as well,” the minister said.

“We have also talked to parents so that students can sit in exams in a secure atmosphere,” Irani said.

Trouble erupted in the NIT when third-year students and some freshers took out a march and shouted slogans on Tuesday. Police stopped them at the main gate of the NIT, after which clashes erupted.

Students accused police of entering classrooms and beating up students, including some disabled ones.

Two groups of students had earlier clashed on March 31 after the West Indies defeated India in a T20 semi-final match of World Cup championship.

Irani said she talked to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who assured about the safety of students.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also talked to Mufti and said that the chief minister had assured the Centre about the students safety.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh, meanwhile, said that he was against the use of force on students.

“There should be not use of force against students,” he said in New Delhi.

He said that the Centre was seized of the matter and it had got in touch with Governor N.N. Vohra as soon as disturbances began on the NIT campus as the state was under President’s Rule at the time.

Around 500 students from outside Jammu and Kashmir have been boycotting classes while another 1,000 students from other states at other levels in the four-year degree course are attending classes, according to NIT.

Non-local students have posted pictures on their Facebook page called Save the students of NIT Srinagar showing pictures of students being beaten by police. They have sought protection. The page has posted picture of one of injured student.

A senior government official said the situation had returned to normalcy in the NIT for past two days. “We think there is design behind the new agitation of non-local students and some elements are keen to see the NIT shifted from Kashmir,” the official said.

A faculty member said the trouble was being created by the third year students of the NIT. “They have a feeling that the faculty is biased against them and they are giving nationalistic angle to this grudge,” he said.

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