Classes at the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) Srinagar, Nowgam Campus, has been suspended since the last seven days to prevent protests over the arrest of two students of the university.
Students of CUK staged protests against the arrest of Suhail Ahmad Dar, a 21-year-old student who is pursuing Masters in Political Science at the University. He is a resident of Zainapora area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district and had been staying in a rented accommodation near the campus with his roommate Ismail. Ismail, who hails from Baramulla district in North Kashmir, was also detained along with Suhail. However, he was released after two days of arrest.
Students had taken to the streets demanding the immediate release of both the detained students.
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Suhail’s rented accommodation near the campus was raided by the government forces on the night of November 9 from where they were arrested.
As per police officials, an FIR was lodged against Suhail eight hours before the students were detained. After their detention, university authorities suspended classes to prevent further protests.
While speaking to reporters, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Srinagar, Imtiyaz Ismail Parray confirmed the detention and said that the student duo were arrested as they were involved in militancy-related activities.
Suhail’s father, Ghulam Hassan Dar, while speaking with NewsClick said that police while informing them about their son’s arrest, told them that some militants had met their son at his rented accommodation.
He further said that Suhail has never been involved in any case such as stone pelting, and this is the first time that Suhail has been arrested. They are trying to get bail and talk to him. Ghulam also added that police told them that Ismail is an orphan and he is not involved in any case which is why he has been released.
How Detention is Affecting the Other Students
A student of the university (who wished to stay anonymous) told NewsClick that detention of a student from his residence is a threat to other students as well. They can never be comfortable with this kind of atmosphere. “We don’t know when we will be killed, nor even the university can assure us our security,” he said.
After Suhail’s detention from his rented accommodation, many landlords have asked the students to leave. This has raised a concern for the students’ safety, especially those who come to attend the university from far flung areas. It has become a worrying reason not just for students but their parents as well.
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Students are under immense psychological pressure making it difficult for them to continue their education. With the pressure mounting, students are feeling the need for a students’ union, which is unofficially banned and absent from all the universities in Kashmir. They feel that the students’ unions are required for upholding the rights of students and can work on students’ issues, like this one.
This is not for the first time that a student has been arrested. Last year, during the student uprising, government forces had entered a college campus in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and arrested the protesting students from the campus. Some students were booked under 307 RPC for attempted murder.