Independence Day: KU Campus Under Helicopter Surveillance

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Srinagar: Students at the Kashmir University here on Tuesday had an unusual visitor. A helicopter flew low and whizzed past university hostel buildings several times sparking panic among the inmates.

A group of students, present in the hostel, told Kashmir Observer that at around 10: 23 AM, a helicopter began hovering over the campus and then came nearer to the boy’s hostels.

The students said they were scared and ran out of the hostels after the chopper came close to the structures making a deafening noise.

“It was a deliberate attempt to create fear among the students, that is why it came above the hostel and flew very slowly,” alleged a student Nayeemulallah.

There are presently around 200 students staying in the two Varsity hostels.

Another student said, “It is quite ironical, that in the name of Independence we were disturbed and frightened, adding  even academic institutions were brought under aerial surveillance on the day.”

The students alleged that the chopper, possibly belonging to military, made three rounds around the boy’s hostel which is located near Naseem Bagh.

A student said, the chopper was very close to Chinar trees, anything could have happened.

“We were stunned when it came very close to the height of a Chinar tree-present in the hostel lawns. I felt it will hit the tree” said, Irshad Aziz a student of English literature.

Another student said university was witnessing growing student activism and authorities are adopting different tactics to suppress that.

“I was busy in studies, when I saw a massive helicopter above my head. I was very afraid and feared for something nasty. I saw helicopter flying so near for the first time in my life” said Tawseef Ahangar a student of Urdu Department.

Chief Proctor of the Kashmir University, Dr. Naseer Iqbal when contacted said,” I don’t think there was any kind of surveillance in the campus. May be chopper would have come there by-chance. I don’t know why the students were scared” he said.

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A police official, wishing anonymity said, they don’t have any choppers may be it could be of Army.

Despite repeated calls PRO Defence, Col Rajesh Kalia didn’t pick-up his phone.

The 71st Independence Day was celebrated in the Kashmir Valley under unprecedented security arrangements following strike called by separatists. 

Hundreds of state police and security forces, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding automatic weapons, were deployed.

For the first time, choppers were put on surveillance at Srinagar’s Bakhshi Stadium where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti hoisted Indian national flag.

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