NIT Srinagar has closed amid protests over an alleged blasphemous post by a non-local student. (File)
The National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Srinagar has been closed and the students asked to leave the campus and the hostel amid tensions over an alleged blasphemous post by a non-local student.
Other degree colleges across Kashmir too have been directed to begin online classes from tomorrow.
"All students (boys and girls) are directed to leave the campus/ hostel by or before 10 am tomorrow on December 1,2023," read a notice issued by the Dean, Students Welfare, NIT. The mess service in the campus too will be suspended from breakfast onwards, it added.
The administration has cited "early onset of winter" for suspending physical classes in colleges even as high schools and higher secondary schools continue to remain open for regular classes in Kashmir.
The controversy erupted Tuesday after a non-local NIT student posted an alleged blasphemous post on social media, triggering massive protests in the institute. Hundreds of students took to the streets and demanded action against the accused.
On Wednesday, the protests spread to other colleges in the city.
The NIT campus is currently under heavy security cover and academic activities suspended to curb further protests. The accused has been charged for hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community, the police said.
A new provision is also being introduced under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procdure (CrPC) to curb the use of social media and the spread of communal disharmony, according to Rashmi Ranjan Swain, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police.
"People who post videos, including those aimed at disrespecting Prophet Muhammad and those who forward it will be committing a crime," said Mr Swain. "Under 144 CrPC, we have decided to bring a law on the posting of any type of content - message, video, audio - which will spread communal disharmony and terrorise or threaten anyone."
The police said on Wednesday it had taken cognisance of the incident at NIT and charged the student for posting sensitive content.
"Police has taken cognizance of the incident of uploading of sensitive content against religious sentiments of a particular community by one student of NIT Srinagar. Upon receipt of communication from NIT authorities, case FIR No.156/23 u/s 295A,153A,153 IPC registered in PS Nigeen on 28.11.23," the Srinagar Police said on X.
"Common public is appealed to desist from spreading rumours/false information. They shouldn't fall prey to false propaganda of anti-social elements. Legal action shall be taken against those who are found to be involved in provocative act/instigation," it added.