April 2016 News

NIT Srinagar Shut After Clashes Over India-West Indies Match

1 April 2016
The Indian Express
Mir Ehsan

Srinagar: Trouble erupted at the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, after India lost the World T20 semi-final match to West Indies Thursday night. Some engineering students from outside the state claimed Kashmiri students had chanted anti-India slogans and burst firecrackers after India lost. NIT authorities said the campus has been closed and students have been asked to vacate the hostel. On Friday, some students assembled on the campus and demanded action against students who allegedly raised anti-India slogans the previous night. 'After India lost, many local students raised anti-India slogans and even tried to thrash students from other states who were watching the match in their hostel rooms,' an engineering student claimed. 'Even on Friday, a group of students assembled on the campus and raised anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans. Many outsiders also joined the protests.' But according to local students, the violence was started by students from other states on Friday. One student said that when Kashmiris studying in the college were returning from Friday prayers, they were met with a crowd of students waving the Tricolour and chanting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and anti-Pakistan slogans. Some of them also indulged in violence, which led to a fight breaking out, the student said. 'A teacher and some students received minor injures,' he said. To control the situation, officials closed the institute's entrance and did not allow anyone to enter. Police had to be called in after efforts by NIT officials to control the situation and disperse the crowd failed. The police used lathicharge and teargas to control the crowd. Fayaz Ahmad Mir, Registrar, NIT Srinagar, confirmed that clashes had erupted but denied that any student had been injured. 'The supporters of two teams had a tiff over the cricket match. Nobody was injured and the situation is under control,' he said. He said students were asked to vacate the hostel because they refused to 'maintain discipline in the institution even after repeated requests from the administration'. Sub-Divisional Police Officer Hazratbal Sajjad Bukhari said Thursday night's argument had spilled over to Friday. 'Students from both sides pelted each other with stones. We used mild lathicharge and teargas to control the situation,' he said, adding that the institute's director had approached the police.