By Zahid Maqbool
Srinagar: The anger against University of Kashmir administration has spilled across social networking sites because of the ‘gagging’ of the freedom of expression even as the media persons of Kashmir valley allege that the KU campus has become no entry zone for them.
A day before a film maker and academician Arshed Mushtaq was ‘stopped and humiliated’ which triggered a debate and discussion on his wall, later ended with the creation of page – ‘Liberate Kashmir University’ on Facebook.
Giving details of the incident, Arshed Mushtaq wrote, “I wanted to shoot chinars in Naseem Bagh today but I was not allowed to enter Kashmir University by the police as I was carrying my personnel camera and a small tripod. I was asked to take permission from PRO, Showket Shafi, who was nowhere to be found in his office. I called him and he told me that I have to take permission from proctor and said he will not be able to help. But police did not allow me to go to the office of proctor to seek permission.”
Angered by the harassment of police personnel and ‘cold shoulder’ approach of the officials, he lambasted them in his Facebook post, “what should I do? Is university open only to relatives of officials, bribe paying contractors, blackmailing journos, and eve teasers with right connections, Chamchas of VC and his yes men, red bulb babus only?”
Fed up with the state of affairs in university, the ‘Liberate Kashmir University’ has also attracted similar comments from others. The group has received overwhelming response from the people, mostly journalist and students from Kashmir and in different countries. The administrators of the page are inviting people for the ‘cause’.
A post remarked, “There is support within the campus, there are some who also think that the University needs help and are part of this. Spread the word, Spread the slogan. They have coined a slogan “Liberate Kashmir University- from Darkness to Light.”
Meanwhile, the apprehension of journalists on Friday again came true when they were again stopped from entering University of Kashmir to cover protests against the anti Islamic pictures on a Facebook page. “The university administration behaves like a mafia gang, and their proctorial office behaves like a mercenary force when it comes to curbing news and curbing the entry of newsmen into the campus during protests-it is as if they have murdered someone, and don’t want anyone to see the blood,” said a journalist who works for a reputed Delhi based wire agencies.
The protestors are questioning the ‘illegal, unconstitutional ban and harassment’ of film Makers, artists, journalists and academicians. They demand that Naseem Bagh is a heritage site and should be open like other places. “The university has also occupied/shares space with a heritage site inherited from the Mughals. It cannot be banned for the general public; it cannot be mercilessly built upon by the construction mafia who operate hinding behind those ugly high fences. Naseem Bagh is a public space like Jamia Masjid or Nishat bagh,” wrote a senior journalist, Gowhar Fazlii, on the page.
The members of the group are also against the membership drive by a student union, NSUI, an offshoot of congress party who are allowed and allegedly facilitated by the university authorities.
“If they say it political things disturb the academics in the varisty, but how come they allow the NSUI to operate here,” said Waheed Yaseen, a student.
However, Showket Shafi, PRO Kashmir University, refuted the allegations. “It is not true; they should seek permission in advance if they have to shoot in the campus,” he said.
When asked if he had been approached for permission, he said, “They have to seek permission from proctor.” He also refuted the allegation that media had been banned from the university.
Source: The Kashmir Monitor