Kashmiri students at the AMU boycotted the lunch invite from the liaison officer of the central government on the occasion of Eid al-Adha on Monday to protest the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The issued a statement rejecting the invite and claiming that it was aimed at "rubbing salt on the wounds of the people of Kashmir".
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) officials, when contacted, confirmed the boycott call, stressing that they were taking steps "to instil confidence" in students from the Valley and ensuring their safety and security, as advised by the central government.
In a statement posted on social media, the Kashmiri students said the offer to host the Eid lunch was a hollow gesture to mislead international public opinion and divert attention from the humanitarian crisis triggered by the "unconstitutional and authoritarian" moves of the central government.
It said that since the clampdown on communications in the Valley after the revocation of the special status to J&K, the students have "no idea" about the well-being of their family members.
"Hence, the question of celebrating the festival does not arise," the statement added.
A senior AMU official said the Eid lunch had been organised under an initiative of the government's Liaison Officer and the Governor of J&K.
There are about 1,300 students from the Valley studying at AMU. While some students had not returned after the end of summer vacations, a large number of them are staying in hostels.
AMU officials have been regularly holding counselling sessions for these students to help them out in the present situation, he added.
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