NIT Srinagar Protests: Outstation Students Demand Deferment Of Minors Exams

Srinagar: Amidst the unrest in NIT Srinagar campus, outstation students have demanded that academic activities in the institute, including the Minors (exams), beginning today, 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 (exams) should be postponed and at least 10 days’ gap be given. That way the matter could also be settled and a solution can be arrived at,” a student told news agency PTI on condition of anonymity.

“Till our demands are met, no academic activity should take place in NIT. Academic activities should be postponed,” another student said.

“We had a meeting (on Friday), but it had zero output. They were giving assurances but no promises were made. They said we will make sure something is done on this… but no actions were taken,” he said.

However, an official from Ministry of HRD said the issue of deferring minors is “non-negotiable”, the student claimed.

“They are firm on their stand that minors (exams) should be held on Monday. I don’t know why they are pressuring this issue that minors should be held on Monday and said it’s a non-negotiable cause,” he said.

“We are not trying to create any political issue here. Our demands are for ensuring the safety of our academics,” another student said on condition of anonymity.

He also highlighted the cold weather conditions in which the students, including girls, were staging protests.

A student, who claimed he was present during the meeting on the issue with Jammu and Kashmir 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.

Students also alleged that they were being threatened by teachers.

“If we are to stay here, they have to assure us that there won’t be any discrimination in our academics, but what they do is threaten us. A teacher tells a student ‘You are from…department… I’ll see you.’ We are being threatened academically,” they said.

“What is the assurance that these people will not spoil our careers and especially our exams?” he asked.

The students also claimed that Section 144 has been imposed on the campus denying them permission to protest. In a purported video of the protest, a group of outstation girl students are seen sitting on protest holding placards.

“Our demands are as follows – NIT shift; action against our administration; and action against Jammu and Kashmir Police. And until the time these demands are not met, classes should not resume and the minors are postponed,” she said.

Peace returned to NIT Srinagar on Sunday as its authorities met several demands of the outstation students, like relaxation on their movement and celebrating of festivals, in a bid to defuse the tension that has been prevailing on the campus for over 10 days, officials said.

However, the demand for shifting the institute out of Kashmir has been rejected.

On the apprehensions about grading, expressed by the students due to the present situation, the administration has decided to address such issues on priority as per “Students Grievance Redressal System” already notified on the campus.