The approval of Governor Satya Pal Malik-led State Administrative Council to build a cluster university in Leh district has triggered protests. Students and political parties are demanding a separate university in Kargil district following the announcement. The SAC decision came on December 15.
Although the governor has assured students and other groups that they will not be neglected as the university offices will be equally divided between Leh and Kargil, the student groups said that the demand for a separate university in Kargil will continue.
Kargil saw a complete shutdown on Monday and Tuesday over the demand for a separate university with several student groups holding rallies in the town.
“We have been demanding a separate university at Kargil for a long time. Recently, the Governor’s administration announced a cluster university for Ladakh with the head office at Leh, which triggered protests in Kargil. The Governor has now assured us that there will be an equal division of offices at Kargil and Leh when the cluster university comes up,” said Shakeel Zaki, President of the All Ladakh Student Welfare Association Jammu (Kargil).
“But our demand to have a full-fledged university at Kargil will continue,” he said
Legislative Council Chairman Haji Enayat Ali, along with representatives of other religious and student groups, met Malik in Jammu on Wednesday. “He assured us that our demands will be met,” Ali said.
Terming the demand for separate university in Kargil as ‘genuine’, Feroz Ahmed Khan, Chairman and Chief Executive Councilor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, said, “The numbers of students enrolled in colleges are more in Kargil than at Leh. So a university at Kargil is needed for the students in Kargil”.
Political parties in the valley have also backed the demand. NC vice-president Omar Abdullah tweeted, “It’s very important for Governor Malik to balance the demands & requirements of Leh and Kargil. Failure to address the concerns of BOTH districts leads to alienation & anger. Kargil deserves justice.”
In a statement on Thursday, the PDP said, “PDP welcomes the decision of creating a new University in Leh but Kargil should not be rendered as a left out entity during the process.”