Kashmir University students jeer at Indian National Anthem

Srinagar: Dozens of Kashmir University students yesterday started hooting when governor N.N. Vohra stood up as the national anthem was played to mark the beginning of the varsity’s annual youth festival.
University sources said the jeering started towards the end of the inaugural session of Sounzal, the youth festival named after a flower.
“There were a thousand students present in the convocation hall. Many of them stood up to honour the anthem but many others remained seated and jeered,” said a source in the university, once a hub of pro-separatist activism.
“The anthem was, however, played without any disruption. The governor left the place after that and things were back to normal,” the source added.
Sources said the incident left the university administration red-faced. “Even the governor appeared to be uneasy. He was supposed to have tea but left the venue. It is not clear whether that decision (of not having tea) had anything to do with the incident,” one official said.
University public relations officer Showkat Shafi denied that any such incident took place on the campus during the one-and-a-half-hour programme. ‘The programme passed off peacefully,” he said.
Last month, hundreds of students had turned up to listen to Rahul Gandhi when the Congress MP interacted with students at the same venue. Today’s event was, however, open to all students unlike last time when every department head vetted the list of students who could attend the interaction.
Earlier in July, a musical concert on the campus, Ilhaam (revelation), was cancelled following an online campaign by Kashmir’s moral brigade who denounced the show as un-Islamic.
University officials said the annual festival would include quiz, elocution, debates, poetry, poster-making, clay modelling and cartooning. There is no mention of musical programmes.


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