Non-local NIT Srinagar students fear for their safety

About 120 students from Telangana and AP are pursuing various courses in NIT-Srinagar

Updated - April 13, 2016 05:48 am IST

Published - April 13, 2016 12:00 am IST - HYDERABAD:

Fear, agony and love – a combination of these emotions are haunting the Telugu students returning to their native States after the turmoil in the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar.

Fear of personal safety, agony of losing precious academic days and yet love for the place and the people they have been part of during their most exciting phase of life, is what most of them recollect from the Jammu railway station where some of them are stranded now, and those who have stayed back despite the option of going home officially.

About 120 students from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are pursuing various courses from B.Tech to Ph.D in NIT-Srinagar.

Maha dharna

in New Delhi

“It’s not about the people and the place but the atmosphere of fear that enveloped the campus,” said a student on his way to New Delhi where he plans to participate in a ‘maha dharna’ by the NIT-Srinagar students demanding shifting the campus to Jammu. What frightened these students are the death threats and rape warnings on various social media platforms by some outsiders.

“We will target you after the CRPF leaves the campus,” is the threat that may not sound so frightening in normal times, but in the disturbed atmosphere it is quite intimidating for young students.

The trigger

“The incidents of some students celebrating India’s loss are not new but we never reacted. This time non-local students not only reacted but also raised the Indian flag,” said a third year Mechanical Engineering student, a native of Hyderabad, and is known to be leading the Telugu students.

His senior, who also hails from Hyderabad and presently in the final year agrees that he has never seen such a situation in the last four years. “Kashmiri students and locals have always been friendly. But now we fear about some attacks if we step out of the campus,” says this final year Civil Engineering student. There is a feeling of uneasiness but he has decided to stay back on the campus as he will finish his course in two months. “I don’t want my academics getting disturbed now.” The boiling point was hoisting the Indian flag and the way it was sensationalised by the mainstream media and the highly divisive social media, students feel. “The episode angered some Kashmiri students leading to clashes. Cricket matches between India and Pakistan created some tension earlier too but not at this level,” says a first-year student hailing from Warangal.

Parents back home are worried and support the return of their wards. “I will go back after April 27 as I want to relax as of now and get over the tension,” says this Warangal native, waiting at Jammu station on Tuesday afternoon to catch a train back home. Some of them definitely want to take the return train, as soon as possible, hoping the tension is diffused.

About 120 students from Telangana and AP are pursuing various courses

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