Srinagar: As tensions prevails at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Jammu and Kashmir, the outstation students have demanded that the police return their national flag, which was taken away from them during police lathi-charge.
The students made a slew of demands, including shifting the institute out of Kashmir and action against the policemen involved in lathi-charge on Tuesday.
The Union HRD Ministry headed by Smriti Irani rushed a three-member team -- Sanjeev Sharma, Director (Technical Education) in the ministry, Deputy Director Finance Fazal Mehmood and Chairman of Board of Governors of NIT MJ Zarabi to take stock of the situation.
The students told the HRD Ministry team that their first demand is that the NIT be shifted from Srinagar.
The students said the police had taken away national flag from them during a clash on Friday last and demanded that it be returned to them.
They also demanded strict against the policemen.
The trouble in the college, situated near the famous Hazratbal shrine of Kashmir, started after India's loss to the West Indies in the T20 cricket World Cup semi-final played last week in Mumbai. Traditionally, it has always been sporting clashes between India and Pakistan that have stoked tension in the valley.
According to witnesses in the campus, local students had been cheering for the West Indies while the non-locals were supporting Team India. As Andre Russel of the West Indies hit the winning runs, crackers were burst in the vicinity, if not within the campus, to celebrate the victory of the Caribbeans.
This pitched non-locals students, whose number is around 1,500, against locals in the college. A day after the cricket match, non-Kashmiri students held demonstrations shouting slogans like "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", "Hindustan zindabad" and "Pakistan murdabad". Local students also gathered and raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
Sensing trouble, the campus management suspended classes till April 4. But on Tuesday, a group of 500 non-local students took out a procession inside the campus, carrying the tricolour and shouting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai".