Non-local students at Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology (NIT) alleged that police officials kicked and punched them when they tried to walk out of the institute premises late on Tuesday.
All started with a cricket match as the non-local students have been boycotting classes since Monday after clashes with Kashmiri students who celebrated the West Indies’ victory over India in the World T20 semi-final match on Thursday. Non-Kashmiri students were angry after local students rejoiced when Andre Russell hit the winning runs against India in Mumbai.
This led to tension in the institute with the non-locals alleging “anti-national” sentiment among the Kashmiris.
On Friday, the atmosphere at the institute was charged as hundreds of non-local students started protesting against Kashmiri students by shouting slogans like ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad’. In retaliation, local students shouted ‘Hum Kya Chahte Azadi’. Police fired tear gas shells and used baton charge to disperse the groups.
Later, authorities concerned decided to shut the engineering institute to prevent escalation of tensions and then, resumed classes on Monday but the non-Kashmiri students have been boycotting classes since Monday.
On Tuesday, clash between local and non-local students at the institute turned into full-fledged violence and a group of students went to the director’s office with a set of demands including written assurance of an open meeting with MHRD.
After the meeting with the top administration, the non-Kashmiri students started to march towards the main gate to talk to the gathered media. They allege that at this point, the police cracked down on them and hit them hard.