Celebrations by Kashmiri students over the West Indies’ victory against India in the T20 World cup semi-final pitched the non-local students against the locals in Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology on Thursday.
Authorities have decided to shut the engineering institute to prevent escalation of tensions.
Students and officials said that the non-Kashmiri students
were angry after local students rejoiced on Thursday night when Andre Russell hit the winning runs against India in Mumbai.
On Friday, the atmosphere at the institute was charged as hundreds of non-local students started protesting against the Kashmiris chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad’. The non-local students also burnt a replica of the Pakistani flag. The local students responded by shouting ‘Hum Kya Chahte Azadi’. Police fired tear gas shells and used baton charge to disperse the groups.
“We fear to return to our hostels now, suspecting violence from them. The administration has asked us to leave the campus,” he said. Registrar NIT, Fayaz Ahmad Mir said that they were trying to defuse the crisis.
“We don’t want anyone should be hurt and have decided to shut the institute for some days,” he said. “Students have been asked to vacate the hostels,” he added.