A senior official said NIT has rusticated the student for a year but protesting students want more stringent punishment and his arrest.
A day after Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology saw protests over an alleged social media post on the Prophet by a student from outside Kashmir, protests spread to other colleges on Wednesday.
NIT was, meanwhile, closed for all academic activity to prevent the protests from escalating, and police and paramilitary personnel were deployed on the premises. A senior official said “no outsider, student or even employees are allowed inside” the campus. He said the institute has rusticated the student for a year but protesting students want more stringent punishment and his arrest.
A senior police officer said a case has been filed over the alleged social media post under IPC sections 153 (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence or language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295 (destroying, defiling of damaging any place of worship or any object sacred by any class of persons with intention of insulting the religion of any class of persons).
The FIR was filed after NIT’s Registrar wrote a letter to the police asking them to initiate legal action against the student.
Ripples of the alleged incident at NIT were felt at Srinagar’s Amar Singh College, where students took out a march on Wednesday demanding action against the student. Protests were also seen at Islamia College of Science and Commerce in downtown Srinagar.
The alleged incident comes at a time when another university in Kashmir is already simmering. On Sunday, seven students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Shuhama were arrested and booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act after another student complained that he was allegedly threatened and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised following Australia’s victory against India in the cricket World Cup final.
Facing criticism for the arrest, the Jammu & Kashmir Police on Tuesday said it had invoked a “softer provision” of the anti-terror law.