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Kashmiri students meet CM, some pose hard questions, some share problems, all return 'satisfied'

Kashmiri students meet CM, some pose hard questions, some share problems, all return 'satisfied'

(Eds: Leads with students' views on meeting with CM) Lucknow, Sep 28 (PTI) A group of Kashmiri students studying in Uttar Pradesh met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here on Saturday with some of them posing hard questions and others sharing their problems, but all returning satisfied, "feeling at home" away from their native place.While on a sight-seeing tour of the city after meeting the chief minister, an AMU's post-graduate student told reporters that during the interaction, he raised the matter of complete blockade in the Valley and how he has not been able to reach his parents back home. "I asked if there was total peace in the Valley why is this blockade there? Why are we not able to reach our family members? The chief minister assured that he will take up the matter with the high command," he said, requesting anonymity. Summing up their impression of the meeting, another student from Srinagar said, "It was a great interaction. Today, I really feel someone is there in UP to listen to our problems. Uttar Pradesh feels like our home. We feel quite secure here," he said. Some others in the group said they were not keen to come to Lucknow but "came over nonetheless". They refused to elaborate their reasons to meet the chief minister.The students were taken to Bada Imambara and Rumi Darwaza in Lucknbow after their meeting with the chief minister.The chief minister earlier met the students and sought to impress upon them the importance of dialogue in democracy and urged them to share their trial and tribulations directly with him to resolve them."We are living in a democratic society and it should be kept in mind that dialogue could be the most important medium in it. We have to make new efforts with this view in mind," the chief minister said. "We also need to understand what democracy actually means. There will be prosperity in our lives only when there is development. How could we become a part in the development process?" he said, adding the common people want basic facilities and employment guarantee. The Kashmiri students studying in the Aligarh Muslim University had on Friday decided against participating in the event meant to discuss "advantages" of the nullification of Article 370. There are over 1,300 students from Kashmir valley studying in AMU.According to an official spokesman, while taking questions from students, the chief minister sought to assure them that the abrogation of Article 370 will accelerate the development of Jammu and Kashmir. "It will not have any negative effect on the people there," he stressed. Emphasising that his role in the state is that of a guardian for Kashmiri students, he asked them to express themselves without any hesitation as discussion always brings good results. Urging students to share all their doubts and concern, the chief minister assured them that the content of the dialogue would remain confidential. "If you have any suggestion, tell us. If you find anything wrong, remain calm and tell me about it separately. This will help create a better atmosphere," he said. "Providing security and facilities to Kashmiri students is the priority of the state government. We will also help in case there is any problem with the scholarship and fees issue," he said. Adityanath said if a Kashmiri student wants to pursue a job along with studies in Uttar Pradesh, the state government would arrange for his safety and employment. He also assured students of help in college placements and gave strict instructions to ensure the safety of girl students. "There is a large number of students belonging to Kashmir studying in Uttar Pradesh. We will sit with them in Greater Noida soon and try to resolve all their problems concerning the local administration," he said, adding there are several students from Jammu and Kashmir studying in places like Aligarh, Ghaziabad and Noida. On the occasion, he also elaborated upon his government's schemes. The students were earlier brought to the chief minister's residence, the venue of interaction, under heavy security. Media was kept away from the event barring an electronic channel which was only allowed to telecast the CM's address. Later the students were taken for sight-seeing to tourist places in Lucknow by the Tourism Department. Hours after Kashmiri students' interaction with the chief minister, an official statement quoted some of the students as saying that "the atmosphere of Uttar Pradesh is very good for studies." "Students said after meeting with the chief minister they realised that 'Yogi ji is not only a good CM, but also a good guardian," the statement said. "While we are away from our families, Yogi ji did not allow us to feel alone," it quoted another student as saying. A student from Srinagar said today's interaction was not a political dialogue. "The chief minister listened to our problems and assured us for their immediate resolution. He also assured us that he will talk about the closed economy in Kashmir to the Central government soon," said the student.PTI SAB NAV RAXRAX