Clashes at NIT Srinagar: Students ‘kicked, punched’, boycott classes
Hundreds of non-local students at Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology alleged that state police kicked and punched them when they tried to walk out of the institute premises late on Tuesday.
The non-local students have been boycotting classes since Monday after clashes with Kashmiri students who celebrated the West Indies’ victory over India in the World T20 semi-final match on March 31. This led to tension in the institute with the non-locals alleging “anti-national” sentiment among the Kashmiris.
Watch | CRPF deployed at NIT Srinagar campus after police lathicharge students
Here is all that you need to know about the NIT clashes as of now.
1. It had all started with a cricket match. Celebrations by Kashmiri students after India’s defeat against the West Indies in T20 World Cup late on Thursday night pitched the non-local students against the locals. Non-Kashmiri students were angry after local students rejoiced when Andre Russell hit the winning runs against India in Mumbai.
2. The next day saw a full-fledged clash between local and non-local students at the institute. On Friday, the atmosphere at the institute was charged as hundreds of non-local students started protesting against Kashmiri students by shouting slogans like ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad’. In retaliation, local students shouted ‘Hum Kya Chahte Azadi’. Police fired tear gas shells and used baton charge to disperse the groups.
3. Authorities decided to shut the engineering institute to prevent escalation of tensions and then, resumed classes on Monday.
4. The non-Kashmiri students have been boycotting classes since Monday. And on Tuesday, a group of them went to the director’s office with a set of demands.
5. After the meeting with the top administration, the non-Kashmiri students started to march towards the main gate to talk to the gathered media. They allege that at this point, the police cracked down on them and hit them hard.
6. Police, however, said they were compelled to use mild force after the students assembled in the afternoon and tried to move out on the main road.
7. Following the evening clashes, two companies of CRPF and several policemen were deployed in the campus by Tuesday night.
8. Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on the issue. Singh later tweeted that the CM had assured him that she will look into the issue and take immediate action.
9. The central government sent a two-member panel to NIT Srinagar to assess the situation on Wednesday morning.
10. Social media was abuzz with #NITSrinagar being the top Twitter trend throughout Tuesday night. On Facebook, pages like Save NIT Srinagar Students have come up and videos and photos of the injured students are being posted regularly.