Non-local students of National Institute of Technology in Srinagar continued to boycott their classes on Friday and held protests with no indications from the administration that they’d accept any of their demands.
Amid a slew of demands like shifting of campus and permanent presence of central security on the campus from the non-local students, local students have also submitted their memorandum before the two-member panel of Ministry of Human Resources Development.
The demands from both the groups clearly underline the widening difference between two groups who had first clashed after India’s loss to West Indies in World T20, last Thursday.
On Friday, rumours said that non-local students were dropping several demands from their earlier list. As of now, the students have vowed to continue their protests against the administration and J&K police.
Here’s what non-local students are demanding
1. National flag should be hoisted at main gate/fountain (The state flag may also be hoisted as well).
2. Permanent security should be provided from outsiders/locals who pelt stones at college students.
3. Equality and transparency during all examinations, events and activities held at NIT Srinagar. There should be no academic harassment by the faculty. Action must be taken against faculty and administration members who are involved in anti-national activity and violence. They have even threatened the students.
4. As Jammu and Kashmir Police has not been able to provide security and safe passage to leave the campus rather has lathi-charged the students and shot tear gas Shells on them. Therefore central forces should be engaged for the security of students of NIT Srinagar.
5. As fake reports and news has been spread and reported to the media, a full coverage of all the events that occurred should be given to the media along with current situation prevailing in the campus.
Here’s the document:
And here’s how local students have responded to the demands of non-local students
1. About permanent central security
We are all aware of the volatile nature of the Kashmir region. Presence of central security or armed security forces of any type will only make the campus (and subsequently, its students) vulnerable to disturbance owing to political events outside college.
Further, NIT Srinagar has overcome a long history of struggle to get rid of security forces on campus in the first place.
Let’s make this very clear — They are demanding the presence of armed security upon the grounds of an educational institute. This is not acceptable here, or anywhere in the world. In the past, security forces used to reside in the hostel. This set a tone of hostility and fear amongst every student and parent.
2. 50% Non-Local Staff
It is very clear that the onus of selecting teaching faculty is on the MHRD. There is already a set procedure in place to ensure that there is fair selection of teaching faculty.
The MHRD has the power to review the recruitment and selection procedure. This is purely an administrative issue and needs to be dealt with by the MHRD.
3. Academic Harassment
This demand comes as a surprise. The academic section has the award rolls of the current students and the years before. This demand is unfounded. Upon taking a look at those records, a fair number of the toppers are non-locals. This reinforces that in NIT Srinagar, the only requirement to succeed is merit and hard work. They have never been academically harassed before and will never be academically harassed in the future.
This allegation is disrespectful to our teachers and by that extension, MHRD who selects them.
4. Formation of Basic Student Councils
The current situation is already sensitive. There is a growing divide between different groups within the college. The formation of councils, unions, and bringing politics into the scene will only exacerbate these divides.
5. Religious Impositions
The local brethren celebrate and will continue to celebrate Holi, Diwali, and every occasion with them. In fact, we have a very memorable photograph of one of the local students celebrating Diwali, complete with fire-crackers.
There is no religious imposition on anybody within the campus. This demand itself comes as a shock.
In conclusion, NIT Srinagar has always been tightly-knit community. We have always been great hosts to the students who come here from outside. We do our best to make them feel at home, and can assure you without an iota of doubt, that we will continue to do so. Our hands are always extended.
Feature image source: PTI