Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday ordered a time-bound inquiry into the clashes at National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Srinagar following India’s defeat to West Indies in the World T20 last week. “We have instituted an inquiry to go into the incidents at the NIT," deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh told reporters.

He said additional district magistrate of Srinagar will conduct the inquiry and submit his report within 15 days. “We will resolve this issue at the earliest," Singh said. Asked about his comment that students were subjected to “mild lathicharge", Singh said his statement at that time was based on information he had received. He said the state government will ensure the personal as well as academic security of the students at the NIT.

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday mounted attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party-Peoples Democratic Party (BJP-PDP) government in Jammu and Kashmir, accusing it of using “brute" force against NIT students in Srinagar. “Strongly condemn lathicharge on #NITSrinagar students. When will BJP &allies learn that brute force against students can never be a solution?", the Congress vice-president said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

The state Congress has demanded a time-bound judicial inquiry into the lathi charge and the alleged lapses in handling of the situation. It has expressed serious concern over the prevailing situation and the sense of insecurity among the students and parents which has “further aggravated due to the uncalled for and unjustified use of force.

The situation at NIT continued to be tense on Thursday with a small group of outstation students staging a protest march within the campus, demanding shifting of the institute from Kashmir. The women students from other states, chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai" marched through the campus demanding shifting of NIT from Kashmir to outside the Valley, officials said.

The protesting students marched through the campus even as state director general of police K. Rajendra Kumar arrived at the institute to take stock of the situation. This is the third day of protests by outstation students who are demanding action against policemen involved in lathicharge on them. They have also accused some faculty members of alleged harassment of non-local students.

The protesting students have said some of the staff members of NIT should resign so that “they do not play with any student’s career". Faculty members, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were shocked at the allegations levelled against them. “The allegations are shocking. Just check the records and you will see outstation students have been doing better at examinations. If anything, we have been generous with them," a faculty member said. He, however, said the faculty will not compromise on the standards of this prestigious institute. “We cannot pass even those who are mediocre in studies. The minimum standards have to be upheld," he said.

On Wednesday, the human resource development (HRD) ministry had sent a team of officials to assess the situation at NIT following the clashes which were triggered by India’s defeat at the hands of West Indies in the World T20 last week. The students put several demands before the team including shifting of the NIT out of Kashmir, action against police personnel and faculty members, and construction of temple in the campus.