As students protest fail to die down, Govt extends closure of educational institutions
As the protests continued for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday against the forces action on students in Pulwama College, the divisional administration of Kashmir ordered closure of all Government Higher Secondary Schools (GHSS) across Kashmir on Friday.
Meanwhile a girl was injured during the clashes in Srinagar on Thursday.
“Teaching work in all the Higher Secondary Institutions of the Kashmir Division shall remain suspended till April 21, 2017 as a precautionary measure,” an order by divisional administration reads.
The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir on Wednesday has already extended suspension of teaching work in Colleges on April 20 and 21 “as a precautionary measure.”
While the class work remained suspended for the fourth consecutive day, reports of massive protest by students of HSS were reported from north and central parts of Kashmir.
A girl who was later identified as Khusboo Jan was injured after she was hit in her forehead during clashes between forces and students. She was later shifted to SMHS hospital for treatment.
The girl was hit when students of Nawa Kadal HSS took out a protest march in the area who were later joined by local youth after the rumors about the death of Iqra- a student who was hit in head, spread in the locality. The protesting students were shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
Meanwhile, police swung into action and resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the male protestors.
Eyewitnesses said the female students continued their protest even after boys were dispersed by police. “The girl students continued their protests and later dispersed peacefully,” they said.
Reports of protests and clashes were received from north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Reports said that students in Kaloosa locality of the district staged protests in solidarity with the students of Pulwama college students. As the students tried to march in the area, police swung into action and chased the youth, triggering clashes.
Witnesses said that police entered the premises of Nadim Memorial Higher Secondary School to disperse the protesting students. “Police entered the school campus and burst several tear smoke and sound shells,” locals said.
Earlier, the students of Nadim Memorial Higher Secondary School in Kaloosa held a protest demonstration and were shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
The pretesting students also blocked the Bandipora-Sopore road.
Witnesses said a woman identified as Asha Begum (60) was also hit by a stone in her head during the clashes in the area and was shifted to District Hospital Bandipora for treatment.
Meanwhile, the students of Girls High School Ajas also held sit-in protests and blocked the Srinagar-Bandipora road throughout the day.
In Baramulla protests were also held by students of GHSS Dangiwacha in Baramulla while as a protests demonstration was held by students of GHSS Muqam Hendwandpora in Handwara.
Eyewitnesses said the students of Dangiwacha took out a protest march from school and marched up to Watergam main market while chanting anti-government slogans.
The students also blocked Baramulla-Handwara road for several hours.
At Sopore, students continued to protest against the government forces.
Students of Government Higher Secondary School Dangiwacha and Govt. higher secondary school Muqam Handwara also held a protest demonstration.
“Clashes erupted at Sopernaghama Kralgund as students of GHSS Muqam Hindwanpora staged protest against forces action on Pulwama college students,” locals said.
Reports of protests were also received from central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district wherein students of several educational institutions staged protest demonstration in solidarity with the students of Pulwama College.
Students of GHSS Hariganiwan in Kangan assembled outside the school and marched up to main market. Later the students dispersed peacefully. A police official however denied any such protest in the area.
“A protest was also held by students of GHSS Ganderbal. But police however swung into action and chased away the protesting students,” eyewitnesses said
Meanwhile, clashes erupted after police tried to chase the protesting students of GHSS Chatergul in Kangan area.
“The protesting students allegedly resorted to stone pelting on army camp located in the area which was retaliated by forces and shot some fires in air. Later, the army men went inside the school and thrashed the students, triggering massive protests,” locals said.
A senior police official confirmed the incident. “But the situation was brought under control,” he said.
An official in civil administration said it was a minor issue and was sorted out. “There was a verbal brawl between army personnel, students and teaching staff after an incident of minor stone pelting. But the issue was resolved,” he said.
Meanwhile students of GGHS Ganiwan staged protests on Srinagar Sonamarag road. The students later dispersed peacefully.
(with inputs from Bilal Ahmad, Sopore)