Jammu & Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh has said that the demand by the protesting non-Kashmiri students at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) was “not worth raising.”
According to a media report, he also said that the J&K Police that would continue to have the responsibility for maintaining security at NIT, adding that the CRPF and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) were temporary measures taken immediately after the police lathicharge on campus.
He said whatever happened over the India vs Windies T-20 match was unfortunate and the clash that followed thereafter, was unacceptable.
“We have appointed a magisterial inquiry. And whatever comes out from that, we will take action,” he said.
Singh said the students had “built-up” grievances over the years, which had burst out during the match. He said the students had some problems with faculty, with administration, and with facilities.
The problem, according to him, included no wi-fi on campus, strict curfew hours, non-maintenance of the buildings, and frequent power cuts.
“It was all building up, and this anger that has burst forth is a result of that, and of course the lathicharge aggravated the situation. But after the talks, the students are satisfied that their problems will be addressed,” he had said in an interview.
He said the demand of the students that they be “evacuated” from the campus, and that the NIT be shifted out of the Valley, were not under consideration.
“As far as shifting the institute out of the Valley is concerned, I have made it clear that this is not a demand worth raising, let alone worth hearing. I have told them this demand is out of line,” he said.
“The HRD team has categorically conveyed that there is no chance of migration [to any other institute]. Whatever other issues there are, including security concerns, are the state government’s responsibility. I have taken personal responsibility. I have given them my word, they have my personal phone number, they can call me anytime,” Nirmal Singh said.
He said the students’ complaining that the J&K Police was “anti-national” was not valid, and that this had been conveyed to them in unequivocal terms. “We told [the students] that just like it’s your flag, it is also our flag and the flag of J&K Police. Our DIG was sitting there, he told them that 3,000 policemen have laid down their lives, become shaheed for this same flag. Three thousand is not a small number. The Tricolour is respected here by policemen and others. They salute the flag,” Nirmal Singh said.