SrinagarStudent protests seeking justice to Kathua rape and murder victim escalated in the Kashmir Valley.
In Kashmir University students and teachers association staged peaceful protests separately as a mark of solidarity with the minor girls family. They demanded severe punishment of not less than death to all the accused.
At SP College, Srinagar, scores of students marched from the college campus to the historic clock tower at Lal Chowk and returned to the campus through residency road.
Students of Government Girls Higher Secondary School Kothi Bagh Srinagar also protested and took out a rally from Kothi Bagh to Lal Chowk.
Students of Cluster University Srinagar also held a protest march in Lal Chowk.
Similarly, students of Government Polytechnic College Gogji Bagh, Srinagar staged protest demonstration inside the college premises demanding punishment to the guilty.
Clashes erupted between students and government forces in Sopore as students from Degree College Sopore, which opened on Tuesday after a week, tried to take out a protest march outside the college.
The forces deployed there intercepted the students and fired tear smoke shells to disperse them, triggering clashes.
Students of Womens College Baramulla staged a protest demanding stern punishment against those involved in the rape and murder of Asifa.
Meanwhile, police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesting girl students.
Reports of protests were also received from Bandipora where the students of Government Higher Secondary School, Nadihal staged demonstrations. The students boycotted classes and took out a protest march towards Bandipora Chowk raising slogans in favour of Kathua rape victim.
They were seen holding placards in their hands, showing different messages calling for justice to Asifa.
Meanwhile, similar reports of peaceful protests by students were received from other parts of the state including Doda, Rajouri, Kishtwar, Poonch, Banihal, Budgam, Kupwara and Pampore.
The protests in solidarity with Asifa gained momentum across Jammu and Kashmir and in other parts of India even as there were strong reactions from the Bollywood, cricketers and other personalities worldwide demanding the punishment to the accused.
The minor girl had been missing since January 10 when she failed to return home from watering horses in her native Rassana forests, and her body was found on January 17.
Traders Association Maisuma and Kokar Bazar Srinagar protested against the eight-year-old girl.
Chanting anti-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slogans, the trade body members demanded hanging of the culprits along with arresting the two BJP ministers who earlier rallied in support of the culprits.
Anganwadi workers and helpers of the ICDS projects of State Social Welfare Department also took to streets.
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