Scores of Kashmiri students Monday alleged that police in Punjab used force to break up their demonstration against various Chandigarh colleges.
The aggrieved students told Greater Kashmir that they were protesting peacefully against the college authorities when policemen used lathicharge to break up their protest.
The students, who had sought admissions under Punjab Technical University (PTU), were opposing the Punjab government decision bringing their colleges under the domain of Maharaja Ranjit Singh State University, which is not recognized by the J&K government.
"We had assembled today morning to demand refund of fee and return of certificates from our colleges when the policemen manhandled us," said a student over phone from Chandigarh.
"Certificates issued by the PTU are recognized by J&K government. The Punjab government recently approved establishment of Maharaja Ranjit Singh State University (MRSST)," said a group of students.
"The territorial jurisdiction of this University would be over colleges in Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Moga, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Patiala and Sangrur districts of the state. Our colleges fall in these area, thus come under the domain of this university," they said.
They added that they opposed the move as this university (MRSST) is not recognized by state of J&K. "Our certificates will be of no use in our own state. We have taken admissions here few a months ago. The college authorities have misled us," they said.
Office of Inspector General of Police, Chandigarh said that the area in question doesn't fall within their jurisdiction. "That falls under Punjab Police," they said.
Cell number of Director General of Police Punjab, Sumedh Singh, was switched off. However, his office said that they were not aware about any incident of lathicharge.
Anshu Kataria, head of Aryans Group of Colleges denied that the protests took place at his institution.
However, he said that the issue of Kashmiri students has been taken up with the authorities.
"I have also taken up the issue with Punjab Chief Minister who had assured that he would take up the matter with J&K government (to recognize the MRSST)," he said.
An association of Punjab colleges said that the Jammu and Kashmir students need not worry as "it is also a Government University so their career is safe and secure."
"To resolve the issue Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Associations (PUTIA) has approached Punjab Government. A delegation of PUTIA has recently met Technical Education Minister, Madan Mohan Mittal and he assured that soon Punjab Government would write to Jammu Kashmir Government to ensure recognition of newly formed University i.e MRSSTU, Bathinda in Jammu & Kashmir also," they said.