Kathua Rape-And-Murder:No Let Up In Student Protests Despite Govt’s Warning

Srinagar—Notwithstanding Education Minister Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari warning of tough measures if students didn’t end protests and attend classes, demonstrations and clashes continued on Monday in Kashmir valley against rape and brutal murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in January this year.

Scores of students boycotted their classes and hit the streets at main town in south Kashmir district of Anantnag on Monday morning, demanding death penalty to the culprits in the Kathua case.

Soon after the clashes erupted, all the business establishments in most parts of the town were closed. It also led to grinding halt to the traffic for some time.

Government forces used tear smoke shells and baton charge against students resulting in injuries to six of them. Among the injured, one Wamiq Aijaz sustained pellet wounds in his abdomen and was hospitalised.

At Bijbehara, students of higher secondary school staged a protest demonstration and in the meantime, clashes erupted between them and government forces already deployed in the area.

At Shopian, students of higher secondary school clashed with government forces soon after they took out a protest march. Three students received injuries.

At Ganderbal, four students of degree college were injured in clashes that followed the protests.

Similar reports of protests and clashes were received from Baramulla and Sopore where students of higher secondary schools staged demonstrations and clashed with forces. Four students received injuries in Baramulla. Local reports said police arrested 70 students from BHSS premises during clashes and said students will be released after proper counseling.

The students of Law College Sopore assembled at Amargrah where from they took out a peaceful protest rally which culminated at Sangrama Chowk.

The students carrying placards chanted slogans against the culprits and demanded stern punishment against them.

All the students who suffered injuries have been hospitalised and their condition is said to be stable.

On Monday, authorities deployed women CRPF troopers in city centre Lal Chowk here to rein in the protests by girl students.

Kashmir Lawyers Club organized a signature campaign at Pratap Park here to express solidarity with Kathua minor. Scores of activists held placards demanding justice for the seven-year-old girl.

Meanwhile, peaceful student protests were received from other parts of Kashmir and in some parts of Jammu including Banihal, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Doda.

Bukhari on Sunday ordered to close of all private tuition centres for 90 days in Kashmir valley. The development had come just a day after the Education Minister warned of strict action if the student protests didn’t end.

However, the decision by Mr Bukhari has drawn serious criticism from all sections of society, besides opposition political parties.

Over two dozen students, including girls, were injured during clashes with security forces this week in Kashmir valley, where youth took to streets every day, demanding death penalty to Kathua rape and murder culprits.

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