NIT row was ‘pre-planned’, says Kashmir civil society

A Kashmir civil society formation on Tuesday said people “won’t watch silently” the attacks on Kashmiri students in Indian states and asserted that the National Institute of Technology Srinagar crisis was “pre-planned.
NIT row was ‘pre-planned’, says Kashmir civil society
Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

A Kashmir civil society formation on Tuesday said people "won't watch silently" the attacks on Kashmiri students in Indian states and asserted that the National Institute of Technology Srinagar crisis was "pre-planned."

The Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS)—along with Kashmir Bar Association members—held a press conference here, slamming few Delhi-based television news channels "for carrying out anti-Kashmir propaganda."

KCSDS chairperson, Prof HameedahNayeem, said the NIT unrest was "pre-planned" and "few New Delhi-based news channels are carrying out propaganda against Kashmiris."

"After conducting an internal inquiry, we came to know that the row was started by non-local students on 25th March after the defeat of Pakistan cricket team at the hands of Australian team at Mohali by 21 runs. The non-locals celebrated this defeat with great fanfare to apparently provoke local students and laugh and revel at their discomfiture," she said.

Kashmiri youth, she said, always side with Pakistani team and mourn its defeat as well since the birth of Pakistani cricket team itself "for reasons known to everyone."

"In response to this, at the conclusion of 2nd semi-final between India and West Indies on 31st March, Kashmiri students celebrated team India's defeat comparatively for a brief while, with not so much for the love of West Indies team as to wreak vengeance on non-local students for what they had done on 25th March. Next day, the non-locals assembled and took out a procession around the entire NIT campus, displaying a huge tri-colour flag which descended as if 'from heaven'," Hameedah said.

"Everyone is intrigued from where it (the fag) came from as there are no flags available in the market, in the vicinity of NIT Sriangar at least. Then they (non-local students) hoisted flags on hostel building and some other buildings too, though the flags had been removed the next day. Another intriguing thing is that persons like AupamKher tweeted within no time, even before staffers in college came to know about this row," she said.

She alleged it seems BJP-RSS combine has "outsourced fomenting trouble in universities and colleges" to AnupamKher "who wants public attention somehow."

"Communal politics comes handy for him as it ensures headlines and prime-time slot on ultra-nationalist and communal news channels," she said.

"The local students assembled to protest at the other side of the campus when non-local protesters beat up a courier delivery boy for not chanting 'Bharat Mata ki Jay' and also ruthlessly beating up a research scholar, Shoaib, who tried to counsel them against disturbing peaceful relations of students on the campus," Hameedah said. "A look at videos and photographs tells us it was all pre-planned which is further corroborated by students and objective analysts of the college who point the finger towards one teacher in the Metallurgy department as mastermind of the entire row."

She alleged this teacher has returned to college two months before, after availing the study leave. "Therefore, all circumstantial evidence shows that it was all a pre-planned affair. The non-local students continued protesting and marched towards the NIT gate to come out of the institute premises. The police did not allow them to come out of the campus as they always do to students in such situations in colleges and Kashmir University or elsewhere in the state," the KCSDS chief said.

"But the protesting boys pelted stones on cops and hurled abuses on them while trying to come out of the campus. In response to this, a police officer ordered lathi-charge on the protesters," she added. 

She said Kashmiris have borne the brunt of "brute police force" in the form of pellet guns which are trained on our youth during simple peaceful processions. "Hundreds of youth have lost their eye-sight due to these pellets, but no one raises an eyebrow."

"In the NIT case, the  issue of police action has been blown out of proportion as if such a thing had happened for the first time not only in history of Kashmir but in history of mankind," she said.

"There are around 2700 students of B.Tech and M.Tech students in NIT of which 600 are locals. How is it possible that locals could threaten and become a cause of concern for non-local students' safety?" she said.

"We urge the Government of India to fulfill the responsibility of ensuring safety and security of Kashmiri students studying in different parts of India and curb the ultra-nationalist and communal news channels from spreading hate campaign against Kashmiris and broadcasting 'poisonous' stuff," she said.

"We appeal Indian civil society and political parties to come forward for ensuring safety of Kashmiris students in Indian states. We appeal international organizations to take note of these growing attacks on Kashmiris and put pressure on Government of India to ensure safety of Kashmiri students and businessmen," she said.

President High Court Bar Association, Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, during the press conference, said Kashmiri people had nothing to do with the tension at NIT Srinagar.

"We are conducting this press conference for Indian people to inform them that whatever is happening in NIT, no Kashmiri is responsible for it," he said.

Without naming anyone, he alleged that people from outside are "trying to vitiate the atmosphere" at NIT.

"If anybody from outside is coming there and creating confusion, chaos or vitiating the atmosphere, then they are themselves responsible for it," said Qayoom.

He said Kashmiri people won't "watch silently" the attacks on its students outside J&K.

"Kashmiris will have to chalk out their programme to defend boys and girls who are studying outside. Everybody has to play his part," said Qayoom.

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