Pak anthem reverberates in KU campus


Pak Flag

SRINAGAR: Pakistan’s national anthem Tuesday reverberated in Kashmir University as the students took out a protest rally against the killing of four civilians by BSF troopers in Ramban last week.

After ‘zuhr’ prayers, a few dozen students and scholars rallied from end-to-end in the KU campus, shouting anti-India, pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans. The procession stopped outside the Allama Iqbal Library, at the centre of the campus, with the protesters singing Pakistan national anthem at the top of their voices. The protest continued for about half an hour before the protesters dispersed peacefully, eyewitnesses told Kashmir Reader.

It was the first protest at KU campus against the Ramban incident in which the paramilitary BSF men ‘desecrated’ the Holy Qur’an and subsequently fired at the people protesting against it. Four people were killed in the firing and 42 others sustained injuries, some of them critical. The call for the protest was given by the banned union of the KU students—Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU).
Kashmir University has been facing criticism for encouraging pro-India political activities and barring pro-Kashmir debates. The varsity, of late, has been a frequent host to political dignitaries from New Delhi while a blanket ban exists on the entry of pro-freedom leaders into the campus.

On June 2, Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian, a constituent of the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat Conference, was allowed to use KU’s convocation complex for a religious seminar, but the pro-freedom leaders’ participation in it eventually resulted in a Deputy Proctor , losing his post. And this despite the fact that the organizers of the seminar had submitted an undertaking that they would not indulge in any kind of political debate.

The KU authorities’ selectiveness in allowing political activities is reflected from the fact that, in 2011, the Youth Congress boasted to have recruited 475 students as part of its ‘youth outreach’ programme.

Nonetheless, the students of the varsity have been braving odds to express their sentiments within the campus. And they do so by staging rallies when political dignitaries from New Delhi land at the campus or by remaining seated when the Indian national anthem is played during functions.
Meanwhile, when contacted by Kashmir Reader, KU Registrar, Prof Zaffar H Reshi, expressed ignorance about today’s protest.

“I was busy in a meeting. I don’t know anything about it,” he said.

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