Srinagar NIT unrest: J&K govt orders magisterial inquiry, two FIRs registered

The police have invoked sections 148, 149, 427, 336 and 323 of RPC for the clashes between local and outstation students on Friday, an official said.

Srinagar NIT unrest: J&K govt orders magisterial inquiry, two FIRs registered

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday ordered a magisterial probe into the unrest in the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Srinagar, even as the police have registered two FIRs regarding the violence in the campus.

"The magisterial probe will be carried out by additional district development commissioner Srinagar who will submit his report to the government within 15 days," IANS quoted Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who arrived here on Thursday morning from Jammu, as saying.

The first FIR was registered against unknown persons for the clashes between outstation and local students on April 1, a day after India lost to West Indies in the semi-final of the World T20 Cup, PTI reported.

The police has invoked sections 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 427 (mischief), 336 (endangering life of others) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) for the clashes between local and outstation students that took place on Friday, a police official said.

In the second FIR registered on April 5, the police, besides slapping the charges of the previous FIR, has added sections 353 (assault on public servant) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).

While no one has been named in the two FIRs yet, the official said police is investigating the video evidence of the violence that took place on the days of incidents.

Police also released video clippings showing non-local students attacking the cops with stones and damaging property at the campus.

The video, shot on Tuesday when trouble restarted in the campus, shows a large number of non-local students protesting against the NIT administration and trying to march towards the main gate of the campus.

The students, some of them masked, are seen carrying iron rods and stones. Some of the students threw stones at Jammu and Kashmir Police and many buildings of the campus resulting in damage to many window panes.

They are also seen vandalizing the property at the campus, including damaging a private car of an administrative official.

The security forces then resorted to baton charge to disperse the protesting students.

Meanwhile, a group of non-local girl students today said their fight was against the administration and the issue should not be given a political or religious colour.

"Our issue was not to incite the tempers. We all want justice. We are just fighting against our administration and we are not fighting on religious issues. So please don't make it a religious issue," said a girl student at the NIT in a video message.

"We neither want a temple to be built here nor do we want to demolish a mosque. We only want justice on what happened to our friends and don't make it a political or religious issue," said another girl said in the video.

They said the non-local students were not against the local students but wanted justice for their friends who, they alleged, were beaten by the police on Tuesday.

"They (the administration) is saying (that) the situation is normal. Only 10 per cent of the students are going to the classes and 90 per cent are boycotting. Is this situation called normal? We are not against the locals, we are really not against them.

"All we want is the justice for our friends who were brutally beaten by the police," the girl said.

For the third day on Thursday, protests by outstation students continued at the NIT.

Some outstation students staged a protest march within the campus demanding shifting of the institute from Kashmir besides action against policemen involved in lathicharge on them on Tuesday. The protesters, who included girl students, were chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", officials said.

As tension prevailed, state police chief K Rajendra Kumar visited the campus to take stock of the situation.

Outstation students have accused some faculty members of harassment and demanded their resignation so that "they do not play with any student's career".

Faculty members, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were shocked at the allegations levelled against them.

"The allegations are shocking. Just check the records and you will see outstation students have been doing better at examinations. If anything, we have been generous with them," a faculty member said.

He, however, said the faculty will not compromise on the standards of this prestigious institute.

"We cannot pass even those who are mediocre in studies. The minimum standards have to be upheld," he said.

The Union HRD Ministry, which rushed three-member team of officials here yesterday, said students will have an option to appear for the exams later. The exams are beginning on April 11 and will be held as scheduled, officials said.

Meanwhile, the state government today ordered a time-bound magisterial inquiry into the clashes that have taken place at the campus.

(With agency inputs)