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I
INP
April 16, 2021

IIOJ&K students stopped from returning to Pak colleges

National

I
INP
April 16, 2021

SRINAGAR: Students from the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) pursuing medical and engineering courses in Pakistan have said that the Indian immigration officials have stopped them from returning to their colleges. According to the Kashmir Media Service, more than 40 students had come to IIOJ&K on vacations in January and February this year. One of the students said: “We had planned to return to our colleges on March 17 but the Indian immigration department stopped us at the Wagah Border and asked us to obtain a no objection certificate (NOC) from the relevant Indian authorities to return to our colleges in Pakistan.” The medical students have been asked to obtain NOC from the National Medical Council of India (NMCI) while the engineering students need clearance from the Indian Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry. “We approached both the MCI and HRD as well but were told that both the departments directly deal with the institutions and students have nothing to do with it,” the students said. They said after their first attempt on March 17 to return to their colleges through Wagah Border, they tried going from the New Delhi airport with a plan to reach Pakistan via Dubai. “But again, we were not allowed,” another worried student told media men in Srinagar. “We even requested the immigration department to provide us with a copy of the order and that we will accordingly complete the formality, but they didn’t give us the order and said it was confidential” a student said. They said the Indian immigration department was dodging them on one pretext or other only to bar them from returning to their colleges. The students were enrolled in colleges in Lahore, Islamabad and other cities of Pakistan in 2018 or earlier and were never asked to complete any such formalities while returning to colleges after vacation. “Even MCI and HRD officials told us that no such rule exists wherein an NOC is sought from the students,” the

students said. The medical students said their third year examinations were scheduled next month and they needed to attend colleges without any further delay. The students said the immigration department conveyed to them that the policy to obtain NOC from MCI and HRD was framed by the current IIOJ&K authorities. They urged IIOJ&K authorities to intervene in the matter so that they are allowed to return to their colleges to continue their studies.