New Delhi/Srinagar, April 2 (IANS) Normalcy was restored a day after clashes took place between two groups of students at NIT Srinagar, the HRD Ministry said on Saturday, adding that academic activities would resume on Monday.
“The situation in the campus and at the hostels was normal and academic activities would continue on Monday,” the Ministry of Human Resource Development said in an official statement.
The statement stated that Director, National Institute of Technology Srinagar, Rajat Gupta, has reassured the students, faculty and parents that there was no cause for apprehension and students were safe in the campus.
The clashes erupted between a section of local and non-local students post the India-West Indies World T20 semi-final cricket match.
“The students (non-Kashmiris) complained that they were feeling insecure, so we have deployed our forces inside the campus to avoid further clashes,” Sajjad Bukhari, a local police official, told IANS over phone.
On Friday, the authorities closed the campus situated on the banks of Nigeen Lake after a section of non-local students allegedly harassed the local students and also held a rally chanting slogans like “Bharat mata ki jai”.
“We were celebrating India’s defeat. But things turned other way when non-Kashmiri students living inside the campus hostel took out a rally and beat us (Kashmiri students),” a civil engineering student who wished not to be named said.
“I was kicked and punched on my face,” the student said, adding the protesters also “chased and abused” the female teaching staff.
However, Bukhari denied any student was injured. “No one received any injury. It was a minor tussle between two groups and we will investigate it soon”, he said.
Another student, Yasin Ali (name changed) told IANS, “after the non-Kashmiri students chanted anti-Kashmir slogans, we raised slogans like “Kashmir zindabad”. Since they were more in number than us, they overpowered us and beat everyone around”.
“The group also damaged the infrastructure of the college,” he added.
A professor in the college who also wished to remain anonymous said, “the students were angry over celebration of India’s defeat in the match. So a minor tussle erupted and some also broke the window panes of class rooms.”
He, however, said the situation was later brought under control by police. “The situation is now under control and the classes will also resume soon,” he added.
Meanwhile, students at the Kashmir University on Saturday held a protest in the campus and demanded action against students who damaged the college property at NIT.
Earlier known as Regional College of Engineering, NIT has nearly 2500 students and 400 academic staff members.