Pulwama: At least 54 students were injured when armed police allegedly gate crashed into the premises of Government Degree College Pulwama and clashed with the students Saturday afternoon.
According to students, a contingent of police and CRPF entered the college premises apparently to arrest some boys who had protested army presence in the college earlier this week.
As soon as the forces were spotted, students staged protests and pelted stones, triggering clashes, they said, adding that police fired dozens of teargas shells and pellets.
The intense clashes spread outside the college including Main Market.
Witnesses said police fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the stone-throwing youth who were however unfazed and continued pelting stones. Due to intense clashes, all the commercial and transport activities came to a halt in Pulwama town.
Hospital sources said 54 students were injured in the clashes. The injured included girl students as well. Injured were shifted to Pulwama Hospital.
Employees in District Hospital Pulwama said that it was chaos in the hospital as the rush of the injured was too high to treat. They said that forces fired into the hospital premises adding to the chaos.
Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, Dr Abdul Rashid Parra said that 54 injured students were treated in the hospital.
Most of the injured were girl students, who had fainted or received bruises during the mayhem and violence. Three of the students were critically injured and they were referred to SMHS and SKIMS, Dr Para told KNS news agency.
According to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Pulwama district, Rayees Muhammad Bhat, 30 students have been injured; only three of them were injured due to pellets and teargas shells.
Two were injured due to pellets and one has a head injury, Bhat said.
Meanwhile, a police statement issued here said: A normal naka was established around 200 meters away from Degree College Pulwama. As class work ended some miscreants started pelting stones at the naka party. To handle the stone pelting, reinforcement was rushed to the spot. The mob swelled as more students joined and pelted stones on the forces.
In this incident some miscreants and police personnel were injured. One was referred to Srinagar hospital where his condition is stable. The District Police administration has clarified that no raids were conducted and video being shared on social networking groups is not from Pulwama.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir University Students Union said the attack on Degree College Pulwama by Indian forces on Saturday is another eye opener about the nature of the state apparatus.
The savagery inflicted on students isnt only a display of the basic lack of regard for the sanctity of educational institutions, but is meant, as part of the oppression unleashed on yet another generation of Kashmiris, to humiliate and break the will of the youth of the Valley who are at the forefront of the struggle for right to self-determination.
Is there anything more absurd than a state which claims, when there is an uprising, that the education of our children is suffering and then the same state keeping up its gory traditions of killing, arresting, maiming and beating up those children; giving free reign to marauding Indian forces to occupy those educational institutions and attack them?
Pertinently, the students at Degree College Pulwama attacked an army vehicle few days back when it made entry into the college premises.
Police entered into the college despite my pleas: Principal
Principal Government Degree College Pulwama Prof Abdul Hamid Sheikh said the forces created a complete chaos and violent situation in the educational institution.
Detailing the situation, the principal said: I was in the college premises in the afternoon and I saw students suddenly rushing towards the college gate. I too rushed towards the gate and saw two police vehicles (Rakshaks) entering into the college. I stood in front of the vehicles and pleaded, with hands folded, to the policemen not to enter into the premises, since the tempers were high among students following the entry of an army vehicle into the college the other day. I told the policemen that 5000 students are in the college and situation would turn bad. However, the policemen did not listen to my pleas and went ahead into the college. Suddenly, angry students shouted slogans and the policemen fired teargas shells onto them. Mayhem and chaos erupted into the college. Many girl students fainted, and a number of boys were injured due to teargas shells and also pellets guns. As more policemen rushed into the college, nobody was spared.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.