Srinagar NIT unrest: ‘Under fire’ Govt. calls for students’ safety

New Delhi, Apr. 6 (ANI): Asserting that the Centre was taking stock of the current state of unrest at Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology (NIT) where the students were baton-charged by the police, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh on Wednesday said that steps must be taken to ensure that no force is used on the students, adding their studies must not be affected.

“The people from the HRD Ministry are on their way there to take stock of the situation and will also speak to the students. We are taking this entire issue into consideration with great severity. Since day one, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been taking feedback from the campus. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is also talking to the Chief Minister and the DG Police,” Singh told ANI.

The Udhampur MP, however, appealed to the students to ensure that calm was maintained at the campus.

“I believe that force must not be used against the students but I also appeal to them to maintain calm and peace otherwise there are chances that external elements can play politics over the matter and take the matter in a whole different direction,” Singh said.

Meanwhile, the entire incident is facing flak with politicos slamming the Centre as well as criticising the newly-formed state government.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Government in Jammu and Kashmir and asked them to put an end to the tensed state of affairs at the campus.

“Lathi charge on students in srinagar is highly condemnable. BJP-PDP must stop this immediately,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Taking potshots at the BJP, Kejriwal further said the saffron party in Jammu and Kashmir is punishing those who are chanting slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ where as it is chastising those not saying the slogan in rest of the country.

Echoing similar sentiments, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah described the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployment in the institution as ‘abnormal’, asserting that the situation called for tact not force.

“TWO companies of CRPF in a campus is not normal by any stretch of imagination. Requires tact not use of force,” tweeted Abdullah.

The CRPF was deployed last night on the campus even as Home Minister Rajnath Singh discussed the issue with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Unrest was witnessed again at the NIT campus yesterday after the scene of clash which took place last week, with outstation students expressing a sense of insecurity and attempting to leave the campus, leading to a confrontation with the police in which some were injured.

Tension simmered in the NIT campus last week after India lost the World T20 semi-final to the West Indies.

Some engineering students from outside the state claimed Kashmiri students had chanted anti-India slogans and burst firecrackers after India’s defeat. (ANI)

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