NIT Srinagar Prematurely Closes for Winter Break Amidst Protests

NIT Srinagar Prematurely Closes for Winter Break Amidst Protests

The J&K Police on Wednesday filed a case against NIT Srinagar student, alleging the uploading of ‘sensitive content’ that offended religious sentiments.

The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar declared an early onset of the winter break, almost 10 days earlier than the originally planned schedule, due to the ongoing protests that originated from a social media post and spread to other educational institutions, news agency PTI reported.

Amid ongoing examinations, college authorities assured that the remaining exams would be held after the winter break, ensuring no academic setbacks.

First, the classwork was suspended in NIT Srinagar, along with another institute, Islamia College of Science and Commerce on Thursday. The latter also suspended internal examinations for the day. The Dean of Students Welfare at NIT Srinagar issued a circular announcing the commencement of winter vacation in the engineering institute effective immediately, urging hostel residents to vacate promptly.

The Registrar of the institute said that the winter vacations have been advanced by a mere 10 days which were earlier scheduled from December 9, ensuring no adverse impact on students’ academic progress.

“We have winter vacations every year and the same is the case this year also. The vacations were scheduled from December 9 but have been preponed,” Registrar Ateekur Rehman was quoted as saying by PTI.

Protests over social media post

Protests erupted at NIT Srinagar on Tuesday due to a student’s social media post allegedly causing offence to religious sentiments, demanding severe action against the non-local student, who has since been sent home on leave.

During the protest, students blocked both entry gates of the institution situated in the Nigeen area of the city and chanted slogans within the campus.

The NIT Srinagar website has also been temporarily taken down for “maintenance”, with a message, “Sorry for the inconvenience but we’re performing some maintenance at the moment. If you need to you can always contact us, otherwise, we’ll be back online shortly!”

According to the PTI report, similar demonstrations occurred at Amar Singh College and Islamia College the following day, protesting against shared videos related to the contentious post on social media.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, V K Birdi was quoted by PTI as saying, “The police received information about a protest by students at the NIT campus. Upon investigation, it was discovered that a student had posted objectionable content on social media, though the video was not the student’s own, but taken from YouTube.” Birdi said that the post’s content had affected religious sentiments.

In a previous incident from 2016, clashes arose between local and outstation students at the institute following India’s loss to the West Indies in the T20 World Cup semi-final. Some local students ignited fireworks to mark India’s loss, prompting a protest from outstation students, resulting in a confrontation.

NIT student booked for uploading ‘sensitive content’

The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday filed a case against NIT Srinagar student, alleging the uploading of ‘sensitive content’ that offended religious sentiments of a specific community.

“Police have taken cognisance of the incident of uploading of sensitive content against religious sentiments of a particular community by one student of NIT Srinagar,” Srinagar Police said on X (formerly Twitter).

The case was filed under sections 295A, 153A, and 153 of the Indian Penal Code, which pertain to acts intended to outrage religious feelings, promoting enmity between different groups based on religion or race, and intentionally provoking actions that may incite a riot, respectively.

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