NIT shifting demand aims at demonizing Kashmiris: Mirwaiz

Srinagar—Praising local students of National Institute of Technology (NIT) and Kashmir University for remaining patient over the recent crisis, Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that some politicians who demand shifting of the Institute from the Valley want to demonize Kashmiris but they won’t succeed.
Addressing the Friday congregation at the historic Jamia Masjid here, Mirwaiz said the local students of NIT and Kashmir University deserve all praise for being patient. “Local students didn’t succumb and showed tremendous tolerance in the NIT. Despite the grim situation in the campus, Kashmiri students preferred to stay away from the fuss and not to be part of any vandalism,” Mirwaiz said.
Lashing out at some New Delhi-based politicians for provoking non-local students of NIT to demand shifting of Institute from Kashmir, Mirwaiz said these politicians are hell bent to “demonize Kashmiris.” “Many of these politicians took social networking route to demand that NIT be shifted. They did it for their petty political interests with the sole motive to create an atmosphere of hatred and to deprive Kashmir from institutes like NIT,” he said. “We will not allow these elements to succeed in their mission of damaging Kashmir’s identity and age old culture and tradition of maintaining communal harmony.”
He said demand for shifting NIT from Kashmir is “totally unacceptable.” “These conscious-less politicians are making non-local students scapegoats and are using electronic media for their political interests,” Mirwaiz said. “I wonder where these politicians were when Kashmiri students were being thrown out of their colleges and universities in Rajasthan and Meerut. Why were they silent then?”
Mirwaiz urged the non-local students not to fall in the trap of “divisive elements” and to concentrate on their studies rather than getting carried away. “Despite going through toughest times for the past 25 years of perpetual strife, people of Kashmir upheld their identity for being most hospitable and maintained communal harmony,” he said. “Even after seeing young boys getting butchered on streets in 2009 and 2010, people of Kashmir assured security of non-locals and tourists here.”
In 2014 September deluge, Mirwaiz said, Kashmir’s youth put their lives on the line and rescued hundreds of non-local labourers and even security personnel. “People of Kashmir have time and again proved that though they were fighting for their legitimate right, but were not against the Indian citizens,” Mirwaiz said. He said non-local students studying at NIT are as safe as non-local labourers and tourists present in Kashmir.
Mirwaiz appealed Kashmiri businessmen to invest in education sector also so that flow of Kashmiri students to various colleges outside JK is lessened. “Our business class is investing on constructing hotels while education sector needs their investment at this juncture. When we would have enough educational institutions in our home state, very less youth would leave their state and the harassment of Kashmiri students would also come down,” he said.—GK

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