Srinagar: The officials of the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) Thursday described the ‘spray attack’ on some students as ‘inside’ job promising stringent action against the culprits involved.
“Prima facie it looks like a prank gone wrong,” Vice-Chancellor IUST, Prof (Dr) Mushtaq Siddiqui, told.
At least a eight students, six of them female, suffered from acute to mild difficulty in breathing after inhaling some toxic substance. It was not immediately known whether the chemical had been sprayed from a canister or simply spilled from a bottle.
“While a professor went inside the MBA classroom, she felt a kind of suffocation and came out immediately,” Dr Siddiqui said. “After some time some students especially who were sitting in the front row also complained of suffocation and came out from the classroom.”
The VC, however, said some leads on the matter point to an inside job and the culprits would soon be identified.
He said the university has framed a committee to look into the matter. “We’ve constituted a committee headed by the Dean Business Studies, Prof M Y Shah, and I’m sure the leads available would take us to the culprits soon,” Dr Siddiqui said. “We’ll not hesitate in rusticating the students.”
The affected students were taken to a health centre. “Four students have been discharged after administering first aid where the others have been shifted to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) for better treatment,” he said.
A similar attempt had reportedly been made earlier on the students a few days back but it failed.
A recent wave of braid-cutting incidents has sparked fear and anger throughout the Valley, with locals blaming the government for not acting quick enough against the culprits.
So far not a single alleged braid cutter has been arrested by police. But with each new incident both fear and confusion are on the rise, making the government the target anger amid a larger rise in anti-government protests.
That the police have so far failed to come up with anything concrete explanation for the incidents has not only put the government in the dock but reinforced the perception among masses that law enforcement agencies are allegedly behind the incidents.
The general surmise among victims of braid chopping in the Kashmir Valley is that attackers use some anaesthetic spray to overpower them.