NIT: Is Exam Schedule the Problem behind the Controversy?

Riyaz Ul Khaliq

SRINAGAR

NIT Students
Media personnel outside the main gate of NIT Srinagar on Wednesday morning.

As the controversy in the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Srinagar refuses to die, students of the national level engineering college have something more to say.

The students, pleading anonymity, said that the semester exams are scheduled to start from Monday. “Because some students are not ready to sit in exams, they want to get it (exams) postponed,” the students claimed.

The tensions started when West Indies won a semi-final of T20 World Cup in Mumbai on March 31. Excited over the win of West Indies, a group of students celebrated the win. “The supporters of Indian cricket team did not like it and a verbal dual started,” they said.

It was late in the night and “normalcy was restored”.

However, the next day as local students were offering Friday congregational prayers, a group of non-local students came marching inside the campus. Amid sloganeering, the students damaged the college infrastructure. “We were caught unaware,” a local students said, “we were pushed to one place and meanwhile, a fight ensued when some locals reacted to the provocative slogans.”

NIT Srinagar

“A few teachers were harassed as well after they tried to intervene,” the students said, “even a courier boy was not spared. He was attacked resulting in head injury and a broken arm.”

J&K police registered a case in police station Nigeen under FIR number 43. “Two NIT student groups attacked each other and a courier boy was attacked by miscreants,” lawmaker Er Rasheed, who was denied a copy of FIR, quoted few lines from it.

Following the crisis, the state government intervened. “The students from the two groups were made to hug each other,” the students said. However, the NIT was shut till April 04.

As the class work resumed, the tensions remained.

Again, on Tuesday evening, a strong group of over 500 non-local students took out a protest march up to main gate and resorted to stone pelting. Amid sloganeering, they  demanded postponement of semester exams, besides other things. The exams are scheduled to start from Monday.

“The students held a meeting with administration as well in the day,” the students said, “they were assured that exams will be postponed.”

After some police officials were thrashed, as claimed by the JKP spokesperson in its late Tuesday night press release, the paramilitary CRPF was called in early Wednesday.

The police have also registered a case in this regard as well.

To this development, former CM Omar Abdullah reacted on Twitter, “TWO companies of CRPF in a campus is not normal by any stretch of imagination. Requires tact not use of force.”

While New Delhi based media channels rushed to the NIT early today, parents of local students demanded action against the miscreants. “Classes were held yesterday, however, a number of non-local students are creating problem,” a parent, who had accompanied his son to the college, said. “It is just a few who are provoking others. Yesterday normal classwork was held but some created problem.” Same was corroborated by the students.

“We (local students) attended classroom along with non-locals,” they said, “however, in the afternoon, some of them (non-locals) resorted to hooliganism. They damaged Recreational hall; classroom and other infrastructure.”

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