In a jolt to the Uttar Pradesh government, Kashmiri students from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who had been invited for an interaction with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on September 28, have declined the invite.
The students described the invitation as 'political in nature' and 'unacceptable'. They said that the initiative was aimed to feed the states' political propaganda.
The Chief Minister had invited Kashmiri students to explain the 'advantages' of the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
A Kashmiri research scholar in AMU said the decision to decline the invite is a unanimous one and if anyone from the university goes to meet the Chief Minister, it will be entirely the individual's decision and he will not represent the will of the Kashmiri students from AMU.
Another student from Kashmir said that this move is purely politically motivated.
"They want to show the world that everything is normal and all are happy with their controversial decision, which is untrue," said the student, adding that they did not want to become part of any misleading political activity.
Students said that after threadbare discussions among them, the university administration, the government officials were told that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has no sympathy towards Kashmiris, and his proposed meeting with them was nothing more than a 'photo-opportunity' politics aimed at misleading the world about the actual worsening humanitarian crisis and the clampdown in the Valley.
They said that Kashmiri students at AMU do not want to become pawns in the hands of politicians to create a facade of their healthy relations with the people of Kashmir.
Kashmiri students also issued a statement, saying that under such circumstances, when the entire Valley is incommunicado, and the reports of illegal imprisonments, torture and humiliation of common citizens are making international headlines, there is no meaning of talking to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
The statement reads: "If his government at the Centre has not consulted us while deciding our political fate, and has barred us from talking to our loved ones back home, by what moral right has he invited us to talk to him".
The students asked the officials to inform the Chief Minister that revocation of article 370 and division of the state into Union Territories has politically disempowered Kashmiris and made them vulnerable to demographic changes.
The students further said that the Chief Minister should talk to professors, lawyers, students and common people of Kashmir who have been air lifted from Kashmir and jailed in the prisons across the state and understand from them the plight of Kashmiris who have been jailed en-mass for no fault of theirs.
The students also informed the administration that the meeting, if held, may be used to feed the state propaganda and as an approval to the government policies with potential implication on life and liberty of students and their families in Kashmir.
The students affirmed that the university administration is taking care of them and they have no grievances to share with any state official. The students said that the general grievance of Kashmiris is not within the jurisdiction of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.