Fearing Students' Protests, Schools Shut For Two Days In Kashmir27 June 2010
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: As provocative graffiti and anti-India slogans by separatists and their supporters were posted on Srinagar's streets and social networking websites, the state government fearing protests on the separatists' call decided on Sunday to declare the next two days as holidays for schools and colleges in Kashmir. The hard-line All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), led by Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani, had called for students protests in schools and colleges through out the valley on Monday and Tuesday. A senior APHC leader Masrat Alam has asked for boys-only protests on Monday followed by girls-only protests on Tuesday. “On the request of parents and as a precautionary measure, the authorities have ordered that all schools and colleges shall remain closed for two days in Kashmir Division on Monday 28th June and Tuesday 29th, 2010,” said a joint statement issued by Director School Education, Kashmir and Director Colleges. Riding on the wave of anger triggered by the killings of five teenagers in firing by the security forces during protests in the valley this month, the separatists have issued a calendar for demonstrations. On Sunday, many streets were defaced with provocative anti-India slogans like “Go India Go” in Srinagar by the supporters of separatists who in turn, have shifted their secessionist agenda to the virtual world too. Police, however, have desisted from arresting anybody writing anti-India slogans. Hundreds of Facebook users changed their status messages to the provocative anti-India slogans and many protest videos emerged on several social networking sites, including video uploader Youtube. A senior police officer on the condition of anonymity confided that hundreds of stone-throwers are already in jails in Srinagar and any more arrests would trigger a mass unrest at this point in time. Meanwhile, security has been upgraded in the wake of Sopore march called by separatists on Monday. The call is backed by moderate and hardline factions of the APHC, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani. Last week two teenagers died in CRPF firing in Sopore when violent protesters attacked a security forces’ patrol in the Sopore town, 55 km north of Srinagar.