Amid confusion and heightened security across Jammu and Kashmir, hundreds of students from Srinagar's National Institute of Technology on Sunday left for their home states with local administration coming forward to facilitate their smooth journey. The students, hailing from different parts of the country, reached the winter capital Jammu from Srinagar around midnight, hoping to return to their institute early.
"We were asked to get ready on Saturday morning after a notice by the management informed us that the classes have been suspended till further orders. We boarded buses arranged by the management and reached here around midnight," said Amit Kumar, a student from Bihar. Kumar along with his other classmates were waiting for a train at Jammu Railway Station to return home.
"We don't know when the classes will resume. We have been told to watch for a fresh notice and ensure our return once the institute reopens," he said. Jammu South's Sub-divisional Magistrate Srikant Balasaheeb Suse said around 300 students from NIT Srinagar have left by Madras Janta, Sri Shakti, Malwa and Hapa express trains.
"The remaining 130 students will be sent through Begam Pura express. The district administration is coordinating with railway authorities for their safe return from Jammu," Suse told PTI. He said the students were provided accommodation and breakfast at the railway station as part of the efforts to ensure they do not face any hardship.
The NIT issued the notice for suspension of classes on Friday evening and said the notice was issued in accordance with the instructions received from the Srinagar district administration. "This is for the information of all students of the institute that the classes for all courses stand suspended till further orders," read a notice issued by the NIT registrar.
The Srinagar administration, however, sought to clarify that the reason cited by NIT, Srinagar in its notice for suspending classes is a case of miscommunication. The institution mistook the administration's advice to all educational institutions in the district to be watchful, it added.
"The decision to suspend classes is the institute's own," said an official statement issued Saturday evening, adding no instructions for suspension of classes or closure of the institute were issued by the district administration. Srinagar District Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said no advice or instructions were issued for closing NIT or any other educational institution in the district.
He said only an advice to be watchful was issued to the heads of all institutions considering the prevailing situation in the district. He said transportation was arranged upon requests from the NIT management which had received requests in this regard from distressed parents of students.
The Srinagar adminstration's statement said the NIT Srinagar has also withdrawn the notice and regretted the error. The statement said the NIT has "also sought to put on record that the institute has prior plans of vacations beginning next week".
It emphasised that the institute's plan preceded owing to the prevailing situation and should not be attributed to it. The statement added that it may be is noted that colleges across the Kashmir division have already been closed owing to the summer vacation beginning August 1.
Security across Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the valley, has been beefed up with the induction of fresh paramilitary forces including the Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel who were deployed in the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in view of the heightened threat perception of a terror attack, which also prompted suspension of Amarnath, Machail, Budha Amarnath and Kousar Nag pilgrimages. Lauding the administration for their assistance, Mahaeshwar Kumar Yadav, a third semester NIT student, said, "The sudden development left students concerned. We only hope that the situation improves son."
Moley Parmeshwar Reddy of Andra Pradesh said they are expecting the college to start functioning once again after August 15. PTI TAS
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