'Chalo NIT': 150 youths head to Srinagar from Delhi to support students
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has described the student unrest at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) a "non-issue".
New Delhi: Around 150 students on Saturday embarked on their journey from here to Srinagar to show solidarity with the non-Kashmiri students at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Jammu and Kashmir, following the unrest at the institute.
Holding the national flags, the youths led by Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena's head Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga commenced the protest march in the morning from Rakabganj Gurudwara here to reach NIT Srinagar.
Bagga, in a press statement said, two buses and seven cars have been arranged for the youths participating in "Chalo NIT" rally. They will reach Srinagar on Sunday.
"Seeing the tense situation in Jammu and Kashmir, we will hand over national flag and show that it is not a crime to hoist the Tricolour in the state. We want to show our support to the non-local NIT students who stood up for the nation and were brutally bashed up by the locals and the police," Bagga said in the statement.
Youngsters from various professions like IT, architecture have joined the movement to support the non-Kashmiri students, who have been protesting peacefully in the campus.
They were resorted to severe lathicharge by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
Many will join the rally on the way from Sonipat, Ambala, Panipat and other places during the course of the journey.
"This country has to stay united and fight against anti-national forces. The meaning of nationalism is fading away. We support these youngsters for their endeavour," President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Manjeet Singh GK, said.
The Gurdwara management is arranging for the participants' meal.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened at the NIT Srinagar.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has described the student unrest at the NIT a "non-issue".
In a late evening interview to a regional television channel on Friday, the Chief Minister described the NIT Srinagar developments as a "non-issue being highlighted by certain people as a communal incident".
Mehbooba also said she had conveyed the same to the Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani when she spoke to her on the development.
She also said "a handful of non-local students were keen to migrate to other colleges outside the state".
The Chief Minister "appreciated" the statement made by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani who had appealed locals to protect non-local students and ensure calm in the NIT.
Meanwhile, the over five-hour long marathon talks between the state Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and representatives of protesting non-local students remained inconclusive resulting in the continuation of the deadlock.
Singh held talks with seven representatives of non-local students along with state Education Minister Naeem Akhtar, a three-member team of Union HRD Ministry, director of NIT Srinagar and senior civil and police officers at his official residence in Srinagar.
Singh said most of the demands of the agitating students had been accepted and were told that shifting of the NIT outside the Valley "was out of the question".
Singh also said that with regard to the students' demand of action against local policemen, the students were told that a magisterial probe was going on and its findings will determine who needs to be proceeded against the policemen.
NIT officials have confirmed that some injured students have said they wanted to go home and arrangements have been made for this.