In a jolt to the Uttar Pradesh government, Kashmiri students from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who had been invited for an interaction with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on September 28, have declined the invite.
The students described the invitation as ‘political in nature’ and ‘unacceptable’. They said that the initiative was aimed to feed the states’ political propaganda. The Chief Minister had invited Kashmiri students to explain the ‘advantages’ of the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
A Kashmiri research scholar in AMU said the decision to decline the invite is a unanimous one and if anyone from the university goes to meet the Chief Minister, it will be entirely the individual’s decision and he will not represent the will of the Kashmiri students from AMU.
Another student from Kashmir said that this move is purely politically motivated.
“They want to show the world that everything is normal and all are happy with their controversial decision, which is untrue,” said the student, adding that they did not want to become part of any misleading political activity.
Students said that after threadbare discussions among them, the university administration, the government officials were told that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has no sympathy towards Kashmiris, and his proposed meeting with them was nothing more than a ‘photo-opportunity’ politics aimed at misleading the world about the actual worsening humanitarian crisis and the clampdown in the Valley.
They said that Kashmiri students at AMU do not want to become pawns in the hands of politicians to create a facade of their healthy relations with the people of Kashmir.
Kashmiri students also issued a statement, saying that under such circumstances, when the entire Valley is incommunicado, and the reports of illegal imprisonments, torture and humiliation of common citizens are making international headlines, there is no meaning of talking to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
The statement reads: “If his government at the Centre has not consulted us while deciding our political fate, and has barred us from talking to our loved ones back home, by what moral right has he invited us to talk to him”.
The students asked the officials to inform the Chief Minister that revocation of article 370 and division of the state into Union Territories has politically disempowered Kashmiris and made them vulnerable to demographic changes.
The students further said that the Chief Minister should talk to professors, lawyers, students and common people of Kashmir who have been air lifted from Kashmir and jailed in the prisons across the state and understand from them the plight of Kashmiris who have been jailed en-mass for no fault of theirs.
The students also informed the administration that the meeting, if held, may be used to feed the state propaganda and as an approval to the government policies with potential implication on life and liberty of students and their families in Kashmir.
The students affirmed that the university administration is taking care of them and they have no grievances to share with any state official. The students said that the general grievance of Kashmiris is not within the jurisdiction of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. (IANS)
Light snowfall in many parts of Kashmir, min temp rises
Many parts of Kashmir received fresh light snowfall on Saturday, leading to an increase in the minimum temperature which brought some relief to the people from the intense cold conditions, the meteorological department said.
A MeT official said the weather would remain generally cloudy in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh Union territories on Saturday with chances of light rain or snow.
“Light snowfall of two to five inches occurred at many places of Kashmir, hilly areas of Jammu and on the higher reaches of Ladakh,” he said.
The official said the weather would remain generally cloudy in both the Union territories on Saturday.
“A spell of widespread light to moderate snowfall is likely to occur during January 6 to 7 evening,” he said.
The official said the fresh snowfall brought some relief to the residents in the Valley from the intense cold conditions as the night temperature showed improvement.
Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 0.1 degree Celsius Friday night over three degrees up from minus 3.7 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The official said the ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.5 degrees Celsius two degrees up from the previous night.
The night temperature at Pahalgam resort, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius over seven degrees up from minus 10.0 degrees Celsius Thursday night, he said.
The official said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley – in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.6 degree Celsius up over six degrees from the previous night’s minus 7.0 degrees Celsius.
Kokernag town, also in south, recorded a low of minus 2.1 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in north, registered the minimum temperature at 0.8 degree Celsius, the official said.
The mercury in Leh in Ladakh settled at a low of minus 18.3 degrees Celsius, he said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and minimum temperatures drop considerably.
‘Chillai-Kalan’ began on December 21 and it will end on January 31. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
Militants hurl grenade at CRPF personnel in Srinagar
Suspected militants hurled a grenade at Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Kawdara locality in Srinagar on Saturday, resulting in damage to several vehicles, police said.
However, there was no immediate report of any casualty or injury, they said.
A grenade was hurled by militants to target the CRPF personnel posted in Kawdara locality of the interior area of the city in the afternoon, police said.
The area was cordoned off immediately after the explosion and further details are awaited.
I-League: Chennai City goes down to Real Kashmir
Real Kashmir downed the reigning champion Chennai City FC 2-1 at the TRC Turf Ground on Thursday. The match was the first big sporting event in the valley since it became a union territory.
Danish Farooq Bhat opened the scoring for Real Kashmir in the 22nd minute before Bazie Armand doubled the lead lie minutes later.
Syed Suhail Pasha’s second half goal halved the deficit for Chennai City but Real Kashmir held on to its lead for its first win of the season. The three points lifted the home side above the visitor into seventh place.
Chennai City hasn’t made a convincing defence of its crown having picked up just five points in as many games.
There were security concerns in the lead up to the game due to the abrogation of Article 370 and the ensuing lockdown in the valley.
The match wasn’t telecast on the official broadcaster DSport. “Due to the ongoing internet connectivity issues in the Kashmir region, today’s match between @ChennaiCityFC & @realkashmirfc will not be telecasted on DSPORT,” DSport posted on its official Twitter page.