Days after the Jammu and Kashmir Governor reportedly sanctioned Rs 1 lakh each to designated liaison officers for organising Eid festivities for Kashmiri students who are studying in other states, students from University of Hyderabad have expressed their dismay and rejected the government's invitation to lunch.
Following the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 (A) by BJP-led government, and amidst the communication block out in J&K, there are reports of several protests in the region with hundreds of people hitting the streets.
Jammu and Kashmir Students' Association (JKSA) of University of Hyderabad issued a statement in response to an invitation for Eid lunch from a Government of India liaison officer. The students said that the invitation was conveyed through DSW's (Dean Students Welfare) office to them.
In a strongly worded statement, the students said, "We would like to take this opportunity to register our protest against the onslaught on J&K's special status and the clampdown of all communication channels in the Valley."
While condemning the curfew and alleged use of brute force to silence Kashmiris, JKSA expressed its support and solidarity with Kashmiris who have been "caged and put under siege" by the government of India.
The student body said that it is rejecting the invitation unanimously. It has also termed the invitation as an attempt to consolidate Kashmiri students. The JKSA maintained "the acceptance of such an invitation would be a betrayal and insult to the resistance of our fellow Kashmiris who have been denied their basic human rights."
TNM has contacted university authorities to know if the Eid lunch programme will be held or stand cancelled. Professor Vinod Pavarala, spokesperson of University of Hyderabad said “An Eid lunch invitation was sent to the students. When the DSW contacted the students informally, he was told that they were already prepared for the annual Eid lunch and they the Liaison Officer concerned could join them in the lunch instead of organising another one. It is for the Liaison Officer to take a call on that. The University has no comments to offer on the statement apparently put out by the J&K Students Association on social media rejecting the invitation.”