University politics: Jammu to shut down Monday


Jammu: A students’ organisation Saturday called a complete shutdown here Monday over “vague” statements by the Jammu and Kashmir government on setting up a central university near the state’s winter capital.

Support TwoCircles

The shutdown call comes even as the Omar Abdullah government Wednesday said the first central university in Jammu and Kashmir will come up near here. There was simmering discontent among student organisations here who were protesting the government’s reported move to shift the varsity site to the Kashmir Valley.

The Central University Andolan Samiti (CUAS), a group of various students’ and social organisations that spearheaded the agitation, said the Jammu shutdown Monday was to press for the issue. “The government is vague in its utterances and statements on the issue,” CUAS convenor Pavitar Singh, a retired judge, told newsmen.

“It has not been specified where and when the central university will be set up,” Singh said.

After the union government announced that a central university will be established in Jammu and Kashmir, the state government had identified a place close to Samba. 40 km from here, for the site of the institution.

But later, there was a proposal to shift it to the Kashmir Valley, triggering a series of demonstrations here by student groups, who were supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some trade bodies.

But fissures among the student bodies too have surfaced. The student wings of the ruling National Conference and the Congress – the National Conference Students Union and the National Students Union of India – have disassociated themselves from the agitational politics over the issue.

“The government has assured that the central university will be set up in Jammu. There is no need for the agitation,” said Amit Sharma, an NSUI member.