Kashmir Professor Held For Provocative Test Paper10 December 2010
Times of India
Srinagar: A Kashmir University professor was arrested on Friday for framing a question paper for first year BSc students that included, 'Are stone pelters the real heroes?' - referring to the three-month agitation across the Valley this summer in which more than 110 people were killed. Another question sought translation of a provocative passage from Urdu to English, which read, 'Kashmiri blood is being spilled like water, Kashmiri children are being killed by police, and Kashmiri women are being showered with bullets.' Embarrassed authorities issued a show-cause notice to Professor Noor Mohammed Bhatt, who has taught at Kashmir University for the last 20 years. If the questions, which were part of the English paper for science students, were intriguing, no less puzzling was how none in the office of the examination controller spotted them. 'The practice is to ask four or five professors to set question papers, then choose one based on merit. The vice chancellor will hold an emergency meeting on Saturday for an informal probe,' said controller of examinations A N Shah. Prof Bhatt's colleagues reacted with shock saying they were puzzled because he was not known for his extreme views. Most, instead, believe he was trying to kick off a debate among the young on the futility behind endless protests and their chosen method of pelting stones. The examination controller is now scrutinizing all the other question papers to ensure no more such nasty surprises await students. While the BSc students grappled with a strange question paper, almost 13,000 Kashmiri youth turned up in the grounds of Anantnag's Degree College to join the J&K police, the force that was the main target of the stone pelters this summer. Riding buses and motorbikes, from narrow mohallas and remote villages, these boys, many of them graduates, lined up in freezing cold to compete for 232 vacancies for the post of constables. For DIG Roufil Hassan, head of the police recruitment board, it's a process that was repeated in very district he visited this year. A constable earns about Rs 8,000. Then there is the prestige associated with the service. So, for three days now, the boys are trying to outdo each other in running 1,500 metres in less than six minutes, jumping 12 feet and doing pull ups. Their age group is the same as that of stone pelters, from 17 to 24 - children of a generation that has never known peace.