Kulgam college protests ‘forced’ I-Day rehearsal

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SRINGAR: Situation turned ugly in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district when after the completion of full-dress rehearsal of I-Day celebration of India, students from Degree College Kulgam staged a protest demonstration while alleging that the “rehearsal as the biggest hindrance in their classwork.”

However, district and police administration said that students protested against the college administration for not ensuring the participation of the students in August 15 celebrations.

Eyewitnesses said that in the presence of Deputy Commissioner and SP Kulgam and other top officials, scores of students staged a protest soon after the culmination of August 15 rehearsal at Degree College Kulgam. The students alleged that such functions affect their study schedule as a result they suffer at the end of the day.

Both male and female students according to eyewitnesses took to streets while police reportedly fired tear-smoke shells to disperse them. Reports said that due to clashes between students and police, the shops and other business establishments closed their business as a result the town wore a deserted look.

The clashes between students and police continued for hours. Reports said that the students pelted stones on police. Reports said that soon after clashes police arrested many students who according to police were part of the protest.

Deputy Commissioner Kulgam Nisar Ahmed Wani said that students were protesting against college administration and were also complaining that such functions affect their studies. “Some students protested against College administration alleging that they were being ignored for participation in I-Day celebrations but there were other students who alleged that the rehearsal function  disturbed their schoolwork,” CNS quoted the DC as said.

SP Kulgam Mumtaz Ahmed said that students staged protest against their non-participation in the coming I-Day celebrations. “There was some disturbance but we motivated them and brought the situation under control,” he said.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) state General Secretary Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami condemned the police action and demanded immediate release of the arrested students. Tarigami termed the police action uncalled for and alleged that police used excessive force, a charge denied by police.  

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