Student Protests Refuse to Die Down, Scores Hurt

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Srinagar: Student protests, triggered by a police crackdown on Degree College Pulwama on April 15, are refusing to die down despite a call from the Kashmir University Students’ Union (KUSU) asking students to resume their classes.

Student protests and subsequent clashes erupted in different parts of Kashmir triggering shutdown in Pulwama, Bandipora, Chadoora, Ganderbal and Shopian on Wednesday. Sensing trouble, authorities had already ordered closure of Kothibagh Higher Secondary School, SP and MP Higher Secondary Schools in Srinagar.

Reports from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district said that, a large number of students of Degree College Pulwama pelted stones on police vehicles that were passing through the area, however, police this time exercised restraint and didn’t retaliate.

Shortly after the incident, hundreds of students who boycotted the classes assembled in the college premises and chanted pro-freedom slogans. To stop students from hitting the roads, College administration locked the gates and tried to persuade students not to march towards the main market. However, reports said that students left college premises and as they marched outside the college, police used tear gas to chase them inside. The students retaliated by pelting stones, triggering chaos in the town. The clashes disrupted normal life in the town.

Witnesses said that at least 6 students were injured during the clashes.   

Clashes erupted in south Kashmir’s Shopian town also after students of Government Boys Higher Secondary school staged anti-India protests. Witnesses said that police used tear gas to stop students from marching in the streets. The students retaliated by hurling stones, triggering shutdown in the area. Shopkeepers lowered their shutters and bystanders took refuge inside. Reports said that at least 10 students were injured during the clashes with government forces.

In South Kashmir’s Kulgam district, scores of students of Degree College after boycotting class work hit to roads and took out a march amid pro-freedom slogans. Police according to eyewitnesses didn’t retaliate, however, some students pelted stones when the march reached near Ghantaghar bus stand. Several pedestrians were wounded due to stone-pelting.    

Reports from North Kashmir’s Bandipora district said that a large number of students of Nadim Memorial Higher Secondary school (NMHSS) in Kaloosa locality staged protests, triggering shutdown in the main town. Witnesses said that students took out a protest march from NMHSS towards the main market where they pelted stones on shops and vehicles. The incident sparked shutdown in the town. The protesting students, who were raising pro-freedom slogans, marched through the main market and assembled at Gulshan chowk.   

Eyewitnesses said that a large number of students of Government Boys Higher Secondary School Shalimar in Srinagar hit the roads and staged a massive anti-India protest. Police chased them, who regrouped and pelted stones. In a bid to disperse them government forces fired tear-smoke shells. The clashes between students and police continued for hours in the area, disrupting traffic and normal business.

Girl students from Higher Secondary Soura Srinagar too organized a peaceful protest. The students raised pro-Burhan and pro-freedom slogans.

In Chadoora tehsil of central Kashmir’s Budgam district students as well as some youth resorted to stone-pelting as a result shopkeepers downed their shutters. Reports said that area observed shutdown due to clashes between youth and government forces.

Students protest also erupted in Ganderbal district. Reports said that students of Degree College hit to roads and blocked the highway amid pro-freedom slogans. Witnesses said that due to blockade of the road, commuters faced lot of inconvenience prompting police to use tear-smoke shells. 

 

 

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