April 2016 News

Classes Resume At NIT, Most Outstation Students Stay Away

25 April 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Azhar Qadri

Srinagar: A police vehicle, marked 'riot control', remains stationed outside the main gate of Srinagar campus of National Institute of Technology (NIT) and a group of policemen stand at a nearby parking shed as the premier engineering university resumed class work after a 10-day break following protests triggered by India's defeat in the T-20 Cricket World Cup semi-final. The gate is manned by the campus security and all entrants are carefully monitored and their entry and exit recorded on a register. The security guards on the campus remain on edge and The Tribune photographer, his identity given away by his gear, was barred from entering the campus and asked to return from the gate. The sprawling NIT campus resumed classes on Monday, after finishing the scheduled exams and sports week, with fewer students as a bulk of outstation students are yet to return from home and some of them are continuing to protest to press for their demands. Some of the students who attended classes seemed at ease. John (name changed), an eight semester student at NIT-Srinagar, told The Tribune that the protests on the campus were 'never an issue between locals and non-locals'. 'There were issues with the administration,' he said. Recalling the days of protest that brought the buzzing campus to a standstill, the student blamed the administration for its lack of action on the demands of the students. An official of the NIT-Srinagar said nearly 1,800 outstation students had gone home following the protests. As many as 344 outstation students returned to the campus and nearly 500 outstation students attended the classes. John, who was among the few outstation students who stayed back at the hostel to complete their project work, was not the part of the initial protest that was triggered by clashes between local and non-local students following India's defeat in the T-20 Cricket World Cup semi-final on March 31. He joined the protest later when the police barged into hostels and canecharged the students. 'I took part in the protest because of the lathicharge. It was wrong. How could the police enter hostels and thrash students,' he said. Not only John but his batchmate too joined the protest in reaction to the police action. 'The situation was tense. We had never felt such a tense situation,' John's batchmate said. 'To be honest, not much has changed since then. Yes, the administration seems to be working now. Look at this grass, it has been trimmed at least, otherwise it was tall,' John said, walking on the campus ground where some students were playing cricket. 'We don't know how the situation will unfold as something this big has happened,' he said.