Students who were ‘thrown out’ from Indian varsity recall ‘harassment’

Adil Lateef

Srinagar: Some of the students of engineering who were ‘forced’ out from an educational institute in the State of Uttar Pradesh have reached Kashmir after facing ‘enormous hardships’. Others among the ousted group of Kashmir students, which was left with no choice but to leave the institute at the crack of dawn two days ago, are on their way to home.

While speaking to a local news agency GNS, the students of Meerut’s Swami Vivekanand Subharti University (SVSU) narrated their ordeal and said they were ‘literally’ thrown out by the university authorities with help of police over ‘cheering’ for Pakistan during their match with India on Sunday.

“We were forced to vacate from the university by the authorities. They told us to vacate and collect our belongings in ten minutes or otherwise they would ask police to resort to baton charge. They told us if we didn’t leave the place people would kill us,” a student, who returned on Wednesday, said while wishing not to be named.

He said that they were ‘bundled’ in two University buses. “In the presence of police led by Station House Officer (SHO) and other university officials, we asked them to hear our side of the story. The Chief Warden and pro-Vice Chancellor also forced us to vacate. We repeatedly requested them to hear our story but they didn’t bulge,” he said.

“After they bundled us in the buses, we were taken to Ghaziabad railway station while police followed us in two other vehicles,” he said, adding, “they told us to get down and go home but we said we won’t because we don’t have money. “They offered us three hundred rupees each and told us to return back but we told them we can’t reach home with just 300 rupees and after that they took us to New Delhi Railway Station and dropped us there.”

He said that the State police handed them to Delhi police at the station. “It was around 12 am. We again decided to go back to the university but our parents told us over phone to come and not to go to the varsity as they feared we might be attacked,” he said.

The student said most of them had no money. “Some of us were having 50 rupees in the pockets and it was impossible to manage for us. We were hungry but we had no options. For the whole night, we were at the railway station. We were around seventy students,” he said.

The students, he said, somehow managed and in the morning at 5 am booked local train tickets to Jammu. “We booked tickets for sixty students and at 5 am they left for Jammu, while other ten including me, went in a bus,” he said. He was quick to add that they told the driver that they will pay only after reaching home.

The group of sixty students reached Jammu at 9 pm, while the other group reached at around 11:30 pm.  “They reached before us,” he said, adding, “One of the politicians helped them at Jammu and he had arranged a bus for them to Srinagar and they left at around 10:30 pm.”

He said that their group reached Jammu at around 11:30 on Tuesday as they were in the bus. “However, we were not allowed to move towards valley as it was one-sided traffic, and we slept in the bus for the night,” he said, adding, “today we left for Kashmir.”

While speaking to GNS, the students from other group, said, “Where is the security for Kashmiris? The authorities claim that Kashmiri students are secure outside but where is the security?”

The students said that they were hungry for three days. “We were left on road without food,” they said and demanded security for them in institutes outside Kashmir. (GNS)