Kashmir University authorities on Tuesday disallowed a student event titled ‘Sexual Violence: India’s Weapon of War in Kashmir’ to commemorate the infamous Asiya-Neelofar alleged rape and murder case of 2009.
The alleged rape and murder of Asiya Jan and her sister-in-law Neelofar on May 29-30 in Shopian had triggered a massive web of protests and shutdowns in the Valley in 2009. Many areas of south Kashmir had observed a complete shutdown on Monday to commemorate the deaths, in response to a call given by the top Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Chief proctor of the university, Naseer Iqbal, confirmed to HT the incident and said it was the ‘peak academic session’ and the event might have disturbed the academic atmosphere.
The event was scheduled at 2 pm in the lawn in front of Iqbal library.
However, students said, members of the staff walked up to the group preparing to start the event and explained that it would not be permitted to take place.
Participating students said that even before they gathered in the lawns, policemen and proctorial staff were deployed to ‘thwart’ the event.
“But the students, however, managed to speak on the case for 45 minutes irrespective of authorities’ presence,” one of them said.
One student told HT, “The university is behaving like Orwell’s Big B and trying to impose 2 + 2 = 5 upon us which we vehemently refuse to accept. They try to enforce us into an intellectual decadence by halting our thinking.”
Another student said, “Talks, discussions and debates about basic issues pertaining to the conflict are being stifled. In such a case, even thinking anything anti-state becomes a political activity.”
A government official on the condition of anonymity told HT that Mehbooba was scheduled to visit the university to inaugurate a programme aimed at providing coaching for IAS aspirants. Her visit was however cancelled owing to the assembly session.