Srinagar An Integral Part Of India, NIT Won't Be Shifted, Smriti Irani Tells Students

14/04/2016 9:36 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard near the main gate of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), in Indian controlled Kashmir, Thursday, April 7, 2016. A clash took place between students of Kashmiri origin and others during the West Indies-India World Cup T20 semi-final match, after Kashmiri students allegedly celebrated India's loss. Classes had to be suspended after several students sustained injuries. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

HRD Minister Smriti Irani met a group of students from unrest-hit NIT, Srinagar, who put forward various demands including the shifting of the campus but she rejected the plea for shift.

Emerging from the over two-hour meeting which ended late this evening, students said that while the minister rejected their "primary" demand to shift the campus by saying that Kashmir is an integral part of India, she assured them of support in addressing academic issues.

Irani also assured the group of 9-10 students that if any of the faculty or staff members of the institute has induldged in any wrong-doing, action would be taken as per the due process.

"We spoke to the HRD Minister about the situation on the campus and she assured us to look into our demands. However, on the demand to shift the campus, she said Srinagar is an integral part of India, NIT won't be shifted," Ankit, a 3rd year NIT, Srinagar, student who was a part of the group that met the minister, said.

NIT, Srinagar, has been at the centre of a row since April 1 when clashes had erupted out between outstation and local students on the campus following India's defeat to West Indies in the World T20 Cup.

smriti irani

The situation worsened on April 5 when outstation students tried to take out a march outside the campus but were stopped by the police, leading to violence including vandalism by students and lathicharge by police.

The delegation of NIT Srinagar students was also accompanied by some Delhi-based ABVP student leaders including JNU student union joint secretary Saurabh Sharma and DU student union president Satender Awana.

"About the issue of security on campus, the minister said that law and order is not under her purview but she will raise the matter with the Home Ministry. She also assured that a commitee will be set up to inquire into allegations against the administration and those found guilty will not be spared," said Sharma after the meeting.

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After hearing their concerns, Irani also promised that the placements from NITs Srinagar would be encouraged and that the process of appointing permanent faculty expedited, another student, who attended the meeting, said.

Another demand flagged with the minister was about external evaluation of the students' marksheets, one of the students told reporters after the meeting.

Among other issues raised in the meeting were infrastructure of the institute, issue pertaining to the timings of girls' hostels and lack of extra curricular activities on the campus, the students said.

The group of NIT students earlier today staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here demanding shifting of their campus from Srinagar after clashes in the institute between local and outstation students. They also met Union Minister Jitendra Singh and apprised him of their demands.

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