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Lockdown 4.0: KU students face eviction as landlords threaten to ‘throw away’ belongings

Srinagar:  More than 2000 students of Kashmir University are staring at eviction as landlords have issued an ultimatum to pay the rent or vacate the premises.

Students pursuing various courses at Kashmir University are putting up in rented rooms at Saderbal, Nigeen, Kantaar, Habak, Zukura, Lal Bazar, Hazratbal, Naseem Bagh, Mal Bagh are other neighboring areas.

After the lockdown was announced in March, students living in rented accommodation left for their respective homes. However, landlords have been pressurizing them to pay rent or vacate the premises.

Amina Mir, a post-graduate student of Kashmir University said for the last few days they are receiving text messages and phone calls from landlords demanding rent for the last three months.

“Our families are facing financial crises due to the prevailing situation. Even home expenses are very difficult to manage due to the lockdown. Our business has suffered huge losses. How can we ask our parents to arrange Rs 10,000 for the rent,” she said.

Shafat Ahmad, another student living in rented accommodation in the Saderbal area said the landlord has threatened to throw away their belongings if the rent is not paid before Eid.  “We have requested him to give us some time because it is very difficult to reach Srinagar in such a situation,” he said.

Another student, who lives in the Nigeen area, said that her father is a carpenter who is sitting idle since August last year. “Our landlord has asked us to pay full rent. We haven’t used her space but she is still demanding electricity and water charges,” she added.

An official of Kashmir University said they have no idea about the agreement between students and landlords.

 “We request the landlords to give some relaxation to the students. The government of India has also said that tenants should not be forced to pay rent in the lockdown,” he said.