Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday said that shifting the NIT out of Srinagar, as demanded by some students, was “not possible”. Her remark comes days after Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said that the demand was not even “worth raising”.
The CM was on her maiden visit to Delhi after taking charge. She said she had come to North Block for a courtesy call on Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Sources, however, said that issues related to the state, including that of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), were discussed by them.
After the meeting, Mehboo-ba said, “It was a courtesy call on the Home Minister after I took over as chief minister.”
As the media asked her questions about the NIT issue, Mehbooba said, “It is an issue within the institute, please do not give it a colour of locals-versus-outsiders. The HRD Ministry is looking into the grievances of the outstation students and I am hopeful it will be resolved soon.”
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To another question she said, “As far as demands of some students to shift the NIT campus out of Srinagar are concerned, let me make it clear that it will not be possible.”
Meanwhile, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said that the NIT administration at Srinagar is competent enough to decide whether the national flag should be unfurled on its premises. She added that the HRD Ministry’s two-member team will stay on the NIT campus till the exams get over on April 14.
PIL in HC
A PIL was filed in the Jammu and Kashmir HC seeking directions to shift NIT out of Srinagar. Congress leader B S Slathia is appearing as a counsel for the litigant, Prof Hari Om, who was expelled from BJP for anti-party activities and was with the Congress for a while. The PIL seeks directions to the Centre, state government and NIT administration to ensure security of students by deploying agencies other than state police, and freedom for students to celebrate national and religious festivals. ENS