1000 NIT-Srinagar students leave campus

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Srinagar, April 12: More than 1,000 non-Kashmiri students have left the National Institute of Technology in Srinagar following days of tensions between local and outstation pupils over nationalism, sources said on Monday.

Around 600 students left the campus on Monday, a day after actor and BJP sympathiser Anupam Kher was forced to return from the Srinagar airport. Another 500 plan to leave on Tuesday, the human resource development (HRD) ministry was told.

Exams were scheduled for Monday but the students left the 3000-people-strong campus after HRD minister Smriti Irani told them they could take the tests after the holidays, possibly by the third week of April.

“We feel suffocated here as we are not allowed to go outside or talk to media. We want to get out of campus and do not want to risk our lives to continue with studies,” said Srikant Rajwar, a third-year electronics student from Ramgarh in Jharkhand.

Sources said many students were taking time off to visit their families and will be back after tensions die down on campus.

Sources said the HRD ministry circulated an email id, asking students who wanted to leave to inform authorities so that preparations for their examinations later could be done.

The campus has been on the boil since March 31, when local students clashed with their Kashmiri counterparts, who were allegedly celebrating India’s loss against West Indies in the WorldT20 semifinals.

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