DEHRADUN: Clarifying on their statements of not granting admission to students from Kashmir, two city-based colleges Tuesday said they were under pressure and no decision of such sort has been taken by their management.
"We had to do it under pressure from a mob of around 400-500 which was protesting at the gates demanding expulsion of Kashmiri students from the institute and an assurance in writing that the new ones will not be granted admission following the terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama," Chairman of Alpine College of Management and Technology, Anil Saini, told PTI.
"What the institute administration gave in writing to the protesting mob was to ensure the safety of the Kashmiri students," he added.
He said no policy decision has been taken about denying admission to Kashmiri students from the next session.
"How can we deny admission to Kashmiri students? Aren't we bound by the constitution of India? The statement given in writing by the institute's administration was meant to pacify the angry protesters and to prevent the situation from going out of hands," Saini said.
Baba Farid Institute of Technology, which was the other city-based institution to give a similar commitment in writing, also admitted that it did so under pressure.
"The institute was open that day and there were Kashmiri students on campus. We were worried about their safety. That is why we said no Kashmiri student will be admitted from the upcoming session," Principal of Baba Farid Institute of Technology Aslam Siddiqui said.
About 450 students from Jammu and Kashmir study in these two institutes. However, Siddiqui refused to name any outfit for the protests.
"A mob does not have a face. It was an angry mob consisting of even people from nearby villages. They were in no mood to listen to us and it was no use arguing with them. All they wanted was a written undertaking denying admission to Kashmiri students which we gave to defuse the situation," he said.
Siddiqui admitted that the WhatsApp message sent by a Kashmiri student of Sridev Suman Subharti University in which he had expressed happiness over the terrorist attack in Pulwama did add fuel to the fire.
"People were already angry following the terror attack in Pulwama and his comment did rub salt into the wounds triggering tension and the subsequent protests." He said the situation now was fully under control with no protests over the last three days and substantial deployment of police personnel around campuses where Kashmiri students study.
"We are getting full co-operation from the police with SSP Nivedita Kukreti herself monitoring the situation," Siddiqui said.
IG Garhwal range Ajay Rautela said the Kashmiri students are completely safe and they should not worry. Police patrolling in Premnagar area, where most of the Kashmiri students live, has been stepped up. However, he appealed to people to maintain calm.
"People are grief stricken over the martyrdom of our soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir. In a situation like this we must ensure that no such content which has the potential to hurt sentiments is floated on the social media," he said.