Police have not received a single call on the 24x7 helpline that was launched to address the grievances of students after an unrest at Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology snowballed into a major national controversy.
The helpline – aimed at a faster redressal of grievances of students of the NIT and the adjacent Kashmir University – was formally launched on April 18 and a notice put out on the NIT website.
“In order to address to any exigency, and/or, to redress the grievances of students of University of Kashmir Hazratbal and National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, a 24x7 Help Line has been established at Police station Nigeen,” the notice, signed by superintendent of police, Hazratbal, read.
Union minister of state for home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary informed Parliament regarding this helpline on Wednesday.
The notice also listed the two helpline numbers – a mobile number to be picked up by the station house officer (SHO) and a landline number to be attended by the munshi at the station.
Hazratbal superintendent of police Naveed Pirzada told Hindustan Times that while some police helpline numbers are already in place, the new one will specifically try to quickly resolve any grievance or issue that the students of the two institutes might face.
“We were anyways planning to launch such a helpline, but its release got timed after the NIT controversy. Whenever any student has any issue he or she can quickly reach us on the two numbers given in the notice. Even parents of students can reach us on the helpline if there is any issue on the campuses,” Pirzada said.
“But as of now, we have received no calls on this number,” he added.
NIT students to whom HT spoke said that calls have not been made to the helpline probably because most of them are not aware of the service.
And, the other reason is that as far as security issues are concerned – following the violent clashes earlier this month – the campus is “back to normal” and regular classes are held.
Registrar of the NIT Fayaz Ahmad Mir said that out of the 1400-odd outstation students who had left the campus, more than 700 are back.
NIT Srinagar reopened after a week on Monday and academic activities resumed after students, college administration and government officials came to a consensus on a list of demands.
Trouble had started on the campus after clashes erupted when Kashmiri students celebrated India’s loss against West Indies in the Twenty20 World Cup, irking the non-local students.
Matters snowballed when students alleged police brutality during a peaceful protest by non-local students and police stationed on campus on April 5. Police, however, released a video showing some students vandalising campus property.