HRD Minister Smriti Irani met a group of students from an agitated region of Srinagar, NIT at present and told them that Srinagar is a part of India and NIT will not be shifted. This reply came as a result of the plea of some students who had asked the ministry to shift the campus outside.
The meeting lasted for two hours and the students said after the meeting that Smriti Irani has rejected their plea and has also assured them of the support in all the academic related issues. She also assured them that if any of the staff has indulged in any sort of the wrong doing, then the required action will be taken against them. The students were accompanied by ABVP leaders. She also assured them that external evaluation will be done as the students fear that some kind of discrimination will be done with them. But, this option is open to only those who will request for an external evaluation.
A senior official said, “Just like they requested us in writing to facilitate their safe journey back home, we would also want them to ask for external evaluation in writing. Only then will the government arrange for teachers from other NITs across the country to check their papers.”
The minister has also agreed to bear all the medical expenses of the students who were injured in police lathi charge.
NIT Srinagar has been in news since April 1 when clashes erupted between some of the local students and some outstation students on the campus. The clashes happened after the defeat of India to West Indies in the T20 World Cup Semi Final match. The situation became even worse on April 5 when students from outside Kashmir tried to take out a march outside the campus and then were stopped by the police. That led to violence which included vandalism by the students and lathi charge by the police.
At present, NIT Srinagar is conducting its final examination. About one third of the students have opted out of this and have decided to return at a later date to give the examination. Around 1,000 students left the campus as they felt that were not safe on campus.