Magisterial inquiry ordered into NIT unrest

Srinagar, April 7: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday ordered a magisterial probe into the unrest in the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar, where non-local students are boycotting classes in protest.

“The magisterial probe will be carried out by additional district development commissioner Srinagar who will submit his report to the government within 15 days,” Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who arrived here on Thursday morning from Jammu, told reporters.

Earlier, Director General of Police (DGP) K. Rajendra Kumar visited the NIT campus and spoke to the non-local students about their grievances.

A police officer said the DGP assured full security to the non-local students and advised them to resume their normal academic engagements.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) troopers have been deployed inside the campus while police are stationed at the campus gates.

NIT Srinagar has around 1,500 non-local students, who have been boycotting classes after clashes took place between a group of non-local students and police on Tuesday.

While the non-local students have accused the police of excesses against them, police said the protesting students pelted stones at the deployed police personnel and also roughed up a deputy superintendent-level officer when they were asked not to take to the roads outside the campus.

Police on Thursday released video footage of NIT students indulging in violence.

Police said two FIRs have been registered at the Nigeen police station in Srinagar into the NIT unrest.

“The FIRs pertain to damaging public property, attacking a police officer on duty and obstructing a public servant from discharging duty,” a police officer said.

Srinagar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Amit Kumar has been staying in the campus to instill confidence among the students and ensure quick return of normalcy.

A three-member team of the union human resource development (HRD) ministry, headed by Sanjeev Sharma, director of NITs, is also camping in Srinagar.

The team arrived on Wednesday and met the non-local students who have been staying away from classes in protest since the clash between local and non-local students on March 31 after the India-West Indies semi-final of the World T20 cricket championship.

On Monday evening, around 500 non-local students raised the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and carried the tricolour, when police prevented them from moving out of the campus and stage a protest on the road.

The protesting students are demanding that the NIT be shifted out of the Kashmir Valley, and action against some faculty members who allegedly stoked communal and anti-national passions among the students.

The local students on Thursday attended classes at the NIT, but the non-locals continued their boycott.

Meanwhile, the management issued notice asking non-local students who want to visit their homes to provide the mobile numbers of their parents so that permission is obtained from them to allow the students to go home.

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