A single-member delegation representing the Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference visited the English and Foreign Languages University (Eflu) on Tuesday, and recorded the statements of students over the suicide of Kashmiri Ph.D. scholar Mudasir Kamran’s suicide on March 2.
Party senior vice-president Muzaffar Shah spoke to students and made notes on of their recollections about the incident. Student representatives from the ‘Struggle Committee for Justice for Mudasir Kamran’ told Mr. Shah that Mudasir was upset after being summoned to the police station and being called ‘mentally ill’ and ‘retarded’ by university Proctor Harish Vijra.
Contrary to Prof. Vijra’s description, Mudasir was a normal and simple person, students recalled, and attributed his suicide to the university’s mishandling of the issue. Had Mudasir been mentally ill, he should have been sent for counselling, and not to the police station, they contended.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Shah said there had been a demand for the party’s Pulwama district committee had approached the state office, and asked for a delegation to be sent to Hyderabad to enquire into the suicide.
Protests have been rife in Mudasir’s native district of Pulwama ever since the news of his death reached there. There were also rumours of police torture leading to his death.
“Students have informed me that the police have not acted on the FIR filed against the Proctor. I will first submit my report to the party, and then speak to Mudasir’s parents to find out if they would like to initiate legal action,” Mr.Shah said.
DOORS REMAIN SHUT
Meanwhile, representatives from various organisations visiting the university on Tuesday faced locked doors, even as Vice-Chancellor Sunaina Singh refused to speak to them. They included delegates from LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) forums such as Wajood and Suraksha.
“The V-C was not ready to meet us. There is a lot of homophobia in the university. Everybody is pointing to Mudasir’s homosexuality, though it is only one of his many identities. Many fights happen in university among students. Do they approach the police to resolve them all?” questioned Jayathi Mathur of Wajood.
Mudasir came from a place with a lot of exposure to violence, which called for sensitive handling of the issue by university authorities, Ms. Mathur said, adding that this was not the first instance of homophobia in the university. Earlier in the day, the struggle committee held a peace rally on the campus.