Students Say, Need A Vent

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SRINAGAR:- As the student protests, now in second week, refuse to ebb, the banned Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU) on Wednesday said, that Pulwama college ‘raid’ was just a trigger not the cause of widespread protests.

Union leaders are of the view that chocking political space in the Universities and college are the main reason that student have now come out of their class rooms on to the streets.

“The police raid in the Pulwama College was just a trigger but the reality is that the main issue was already there, which need to be addressed for the larger interests of the state, if the issue is not resolved such type of protests will happen and they may happen with more ferocity,’’ warned a student activist.

“The reasons for current protests is that we are not being allowed to express ourselves, our sentiments and aspirations and once you choke a person, he or she will burst,” he said.

“In a democracy people have a right to form unions, associations and groups, hold assemblies, protest peacefully, question government actions, express views without hurting others etc, but in Kashmir nothing of that sort exists”

Seven years ago, student politics was banned in the Kashmir University and the office of Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU) – the only elected students’ body – was demolished by the authorities.

Interestingly in other part of the state- Jammu University Students Union, is allowed to function and indulge in political activities.

“Our message is clear that we want right to self-determination and these protests are a manifestation of that,” said Mehak Akthar a M.sc student of the university

The Kashmir valley has been in the throes of a student unrest after government forces raided a Degree Degree in Pulwama early this month.

More than 100 students were injured in intense clashes with the police and other security forces in different towns of the valley, including summer capital Srinagar. Several security personnel also sustained injuries in stone-pelting incidents.

After the raid KUSU gave a call for a protest against what they termed as “brutality perpetrated by Indian forces on students”

Their call evoked widespread response.

Perhaps realising the gravity of the student anger, PDP youth wing President, Waheed-ur- Rehman Para told Kashmir Observer, “We need to understand that these youngsters need good parenting rather than policing. We need to listen to them patiently, yes students need some political space to express themselves, we are trying to engage the youth,”

When asked about their policies falling on the ground he said, “There is anger among the youth and it is the reflection of their expectation which unfortunately we are not able to fulfil due to situation,” he added.

 

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