April 2016 News

Jammu Erupts In Protests Against 'use Of Force' On NIT Students

6 April 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Jammu: A day after non-Kashmiri students were allegedly beaten by the local police in the Srinagar NIT campus, Jammu, the winter capital of the state, today erupted in protests with several social, political and non-political groups taking to the roads against the 'excessive use of police force' on the protesters. The protesters also had scuffle with the policemen after the latter tried to stop them from blocking some important road links that resulted in disruption in normal movement of vehicles. Hundreds of students from the University of Jammu, Government MAM Postgraduate College and GGM Science College boycotted their classes and held demonstrations to lodge their protest against 'ruthless use of force' on non-Kashmiri students at the NIT. Holding national flags in their hands, university and MAM college students, including girls, assembled outside the main gate of Jammu University and chanted slogans against the J&K police and the state government for allegedly mishandling the situation. Later, they took out a procession and reached ever-busy Bikram Chowk where they were joined by students from GGM Science College. The traffic movement remained disrupted for more than an hour that led to long traffic jam causing great inconvenience to the commuters. Protesters denounced the police action and demanded that the state government should identify the guilty policemen and initiate strict action against them. Similarly, hundreds of activists of the Team Jammu, under the leadership of its chairman Zorawar Singh Jamwal, held a demonstration at Maheshpura Chowk in Bakshi Nagar against the 'failure of the government to protect non-local students'. In his address, Jamwal regretted that within 24 hours of the taking over of the coalition government, in which self-proclaimed nationalist BJP is also a partner, the J&K Police unleashed a reign of terror on NIT students, who dared to raise national flag on the NIT campus. He warned that the people of Jammu would not tolerate such 'atrocities of the police on nationalist people'. Scores of activists of the Pradesh Youth Congress (PYC) gheraoed the official residence of Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh for allegedly 'defending the police cruelty' at NIT, Srinagar. Led by state president, PYC, Pranav Shagotra, activists gathered outside the residence of the Deputy Chief Minister and raised slogans against him and the state government. The protesters had a scuffle with the police after the latter tried to disperse them. Bajrang Dal activists also took out a protest march in the city and blocked the road connecting Rehari Chowk with the Kachi Chawni area by burning tyres. They warned the state administration of more protests if the security was not provided to non-Kashmiri students at the NIT, Srinagar, and action was not initiated against the 'guilty policemen' and anti-national elements. Led by Rakesh Gupta, president of Shiv Shakti Sena, activists of the group also held a separate demonstration in the city and came down heavily on the J&K Police for atrocities on 'innocent non-Kashmiri students of the NIT, Srinagar'. Lok Janshakti Party activists blocked the fourth bridge over the Tawi connecting Bhagwati Nagar with the Ware House area for some time and raised slogans against the state government. They demanded strict action against the policemen responsible for 'ruthless cane-charge' on students. Congress activists also blocked road in the Karan Bagh area and raised slogans against the state government for its alleged failure to provide foolproof security to non-Kashmiri students at the NIT, Srinagar. State VHP patron Leela Karan Sharma condemned the 'brutal attack' on students of the NIT, Srinagar, by the J&K Police. He demanded rustication and arrest of 'miscreants' at the NIT, Srinagar, allegedly involved in threatening students from other states studying in Srinagar.