NIT-Srinagar deadlock continues

Srinagar: Talks between the government and the non-local students of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) here have failed to end the deadlock as the boys and girls stuck to their demands, including shifting the institute out of the Valley.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is expected to fly down to the summer capital Srinagar from Jammu, a day after her deputy Nirmal Singh met representatives of protesting non-local students and held five-hour long talks with them on Friday.

Education Minister Naeem Akhtar, a three-member team of union human resources development ministry, NIT-Srinagar Director Rohit Gupta and senior civil and police officers were also present in the meeting held at Nirmal Singh’s official residence here.

Nirmal Singh said most of the demands of the agitating students had been accepted, but they were told that shifting of the NIT outside the valley "was out of question".

With regard to the students' demand that action be taken against local policemen, they were told that a magisterial probe was going on and its findings will determine who needs to be proceeded against, he said.

Nirmal Singh allayed the fears of the protesting students that FIRs had been registered against them.

"Those FIRs are open and nobody's name appears in them," he told the agitating students. NIT officials have confirmed that some injured students wanted to go home and arrangements have been made for this.

Trouble began after some students of NIT-Srinagar allegedly celebrated India's loss to the West Indies in a T20 cricket match last week. Non-local students objected to the celebrations and countered them with their own demonstration in India's support.

The non-local students alleged that they were beaten up by Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel and have been demanding that the college may be shifted to a safer place outside the valley.