NIT unrest: Mehbooba bats for secularism

Katra\J&k: In wake of criticism over the recent unrest at Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology (NIT), Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday urged the people of the state to treat the students from outside on the dictum ‘atithi devo bhava’ to enhance brotherhood and maintain cordial relations.

“We welcome the students, who come here from different part of the nation on the lines of ‘atithi devo bhava’. When these students come, they come as guests but they leave as our goodwill ambassadors,” said Mufti while addressing the students at the convocation ceremony of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University in Katra.

“I would request all to make them feel at home so that when they go back they talk about our hospitality and good behaviour and treat our children of the state, who are in lakhs in rest of the country in the same way. We need to behave in such a manner that this cultural mix prospers and the brotherhood flourishes,” she added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present at the event.

The students of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar, will stage a protest at Jantar Mantar in the national capital on Wednesday against the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD)’s handling of the NIT row.

Around 2,000 non-Kashmiri students earlier left the NIT in a mass exodus, following the state of unrest in the campus after clashes broke out between local and outstation students post India’s defeat in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup.

The situation worsened last week when the outstation students tried to take out a march outside the campus, but were stopped eventually leading to baton-charge by the police.