April 2016 News

Students On Chalo NIT March Stopped From Entering Jammu And Kashmir

11 April 2016
India Today
Dianne Nongrum

New Delhi: Over 100 youth from different parts of the country led by Tejinder Pal Singh Bagga of the Bhagat Singh Kranti Dal returned to Delhi from Lakhanpur. The Chalo NIT march, called Tiranga Yatra, to Srinagar was abandoned half way after they were not allowed to enter Jammu and Kashmir. According to reports, the students were on their way to Srinagar to unfurl the Tricolour at NIT in a move to express solidarity with non-Kashmiri students. These youth, comprising students of IT, engineering and architecture, had begun their journey under the banner of newly formed Group of Citizens from Delhi's Gurdwara Rakabgunj on Saturday. The youth were stopped at Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir around midnight soon after they entered the state from Madhopur in neighbouring Punjab in a bus and one Tata Sumo. The youths who came from Delhi, Punjab and Harayana were first stopped at Madhopur in Punjab, but were later allowed to proceed to Jammu and Kashmir after questioning by Punjab Police. As they crossed the bridge over river Ravi, they started raising slogans like Bharat Mata Ki Jai and were stopped by the Jammu Police. 'We were going to Srinagar to tell non-local students at Srinagar NIT that they are not alone in their fight against anti-nationals,' Bagga said. Clashes had occurred at NIT, Srinagar following Team India's defeat against West Indies in the World Cup T20 semi-final. Two groups of students, one from Kashmir and another from other states, fought with each other after some students burst crackers following India's defeat. The clashes led to shutting down of the institute. Amidst the unrest on NIT campus, outstation students have demanded that academic activities in the institute, including the Minors (exams), beginning Monday, be deferred until normalcy returns. The outstation students, including girls, who have been staging protests, claimed that officials of the college and HRD Ministry said the demand was non-negotiable. The minors should be postponed and at least 10 days' gap be given. An official from HRD ministry said the issue of deferring minors is non-negotiable, the student claimed. 'They are firm on their stand that minors should be held on Monday. I don't know why they are pressuring this issue that minors should be held on Monday and have also said that it's a non-negotiable cause,' the student said. The cold weather conditions prevail in Srinagar where the students, including girls, are staging protests. A student, who claimed he was present during the meeting on the issue with J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Education Minister on Friday, said they have clarified on their demands, which have been allegedly misrepresented by the media. 'The college administration was not present at the meeting. We apprised them of the entire issue since March 31 and also cleared our position concerning our demands because we have seen on media that some of our demands have been misrepresented. There are some which we never even asked for,' the student said.