Valley on Boil: Now Students Take to Streets

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Srinagar: Students clashed with security forces in several places in Kashmir valley on Monday during protests against the alleged “high-handedness” of security forces at a college in Pulwama in south Kashmir.

The students also boycotted classes. The protesting students, mostly from degree colleges across the valley and some universities, tried to take out rallies but were stopped by police, leading to clashes, police officials said.

The clashes led to disruption in normal activities in various places including Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of Srinagar, the officials said. Various student groups had called for protests on Monday against the “brutality” perpetrated by forces on students of Degree College Pulwama in south Kashmir on Saturday, leaving many students injured.

The trouble started when a group of students took out a rally near Sri Pratap (SP) College on Moulana Azad Road in the vicinity of Lal Chowk against the Pulwama incident, leading to clashes between the protesting students and the law enforcing agencies, the officials said.

They said police fired dozens of teargas shells and used batons to chase away the protesting students who indulged in stone-pelting and fought pitched battles with them. The clashes created panic in the area, forcing shopkeepers to pull down the shutters of their establishments, the officials said, adding traffic on Moulana Azad Road was also affected.

Soon after, protests broke out in nearby Women’s College and other colleges in the city and elsewhere in the valley. Protests were going on in various colleges in the valley including in Ganderbal, Baramulla, Shopian and Pulwama districts, the officials said. They said the clashes left many, including security forces personnel, injured. “We are compiling the details of the injured,” an official said.

The clashes between students and police continued for hours, disrupting normal life in and around city centre Lal Chowk. Students amid pro-freedom slogans tried to march towards city centre Lal Chowk when police stopped them. The blockade provoked students who pelted stones thus resulting in clashes. Shopkeepers downed their shutters while traffic disappeared from Moulana Abulkalam Azad Road. Students from both SP College and Government College for Women alleged that Government Forces exploded tear-smoke shells inside the college premises creating panic among them. Reports said that students from Government College for Women also came out from the college and staged a peaceful protest on the road.

A police official told CNS that students were allowed to protest peacefully at Press Enclave but they resorted to massive stone-pelting without any provocation.

Reports said that students of Degree College Bemina here in Srinagar too resorted to massive stone-pelting thus disrupting vehicular movement on the roads. Government Forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse students. Students from MP Higher Secondary School and Government Islamia College organized rallies to express solidarity with the Pulwama students.  Students from Kashmir University and Central University of Kashmir in Srinagar staged peaceful protests.

In Kangan also students took to roads and protested against police highhandedness in Degree College Pulwama.

A massive protest rally was organized by students of Degree College in Norht Kashmir’s Baramulla district that was attended by the students from Higher Secondary Schools. The students raised pro-freedom slogans through their march in the town. The rally culminated peacefully.

Student protests also triggered massive clashes and shutdown in Sopore town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Witnesses said that the students of Degree College Sopore staged protests against the forces’ action on students at Pulwama Degree College last week. Police and paramilitary forces deployed in the area resorted to teargas shelling and baton-charge to disperse the protesting students. Clashes also triggered shutdown in the area, said the witnesses.

Police didn’t allow students from Degree College Pattan to come out from the College while according to a police official, students staged peaceful protest inside the college without affecting routine life.

Also SeeIn Pics, Students Clash With Forces Across Kashmir Valley

Students of different colleges of Pulwama and Shopian in south Kashmir shouted slogans in solidarity with the students of Pulwama.

Intense clashes were also reported from Kulgam district where students from Degree College hit to roads and pelted stones on the Government Forces. Clashes were also reported from Ganderbal and Kupwara districts. Students from Degree College Sumbal also clashed with police. Protesters attacked police station Sumbal and damaged the windowpanes of the police station. They also attacked the official vehicle of SDPO Sumbal. Reports from Pampore town of Pulwama district said that Para-military Central Reserve Police Force resorted to aerial firing to disperse the protesting students of Government Higher Secondary School. The gun shots created panic in the area and disrupted traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway for some time. Students of Government Higher Secondary School Rohmu and Hal Pulwama also staged protest while Pulwama witnessed a shutdown.

Peaceful protests of students were also reported from Tral Pulwama and Dooru Anantnag. Reports said that during day long clashes, scores of students as well as Government Forces personnel were wounded. An official from District hospital Kulgam said that 27 injured students were brought to hospital for treatment. 

 

End ‘Supression’ of Students : AJKSU

All Jammu and Kashmir Students Union Monday held protest demonstrations against incident which happened in GDC Pulwama alleging that ‘student were attacked with teargas shells to scatter them by holding peaceful protest.’

According to a press statement, the union said, “It has now become a war in between ‘Pens vs pellets’ and ‘Books vs bullets’.”

They said that security forces used tear smoke shells against protesting students at Srinagar, Shopian, Sopore, Anantnag and Kulgam and Baramulla colleges in which hundreds of students were injured.

AJKSU President, Syed Tajamul Imran condemned the forces action in which students’ sustained injuries.

“It is inhuman and barbaric act,” Tajamul said, adding that “students were not having any arms in their hands they were holding play cards what is wrong with that.”

He demanded strict action against the soldiers without any further delay involved in GDC Pulwama incident, and students who have been detained by police should be released immediately.

Tajamul said that Govt has turned spring bloom into red and they have been failed in every aspect.

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