April 2017 News

Valley Colleges To Remain Shut Today Amid Fear Of Violence

18 April 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: Fearing more protests, the government today extended the closure of colleges across Kashmir by one more day even as the University of Kashmir witnessed protests by girl students over police action at Government Degree College, Pulwama, on Saturday. 'All colleges and SP Higher Secondary School (in Srinagar) will remain shut on Wednesday,' said Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Khan. 'All schools will, however, reopen tomorrow,' he said. After widespread protests by students on Monday, which left nearly 60 of them injured across the Valley, the government had decided to shut universities, colleges and higher secondary schools in the region as a precautionary measure to prevent further protests. While the educational institutions remained closed today, a protest was held by girls students at the University of Kashmir over the forces action against students of the Pulwama college. The students putting up at the varsity's girls' hostel staged a peaceful demonstration for many hours. The protesters were not allowed to move out of the hostel campus. The students later dispersed off peacefully. On Monday, boarders of the university's boys' hostel took out a candlelight march against the police action on Pulwama college students. PROof the University of Kashmir said all campuses of the varsity shall remain closed on April 19, but all examinations would be held as per schedule. The latest series of student protests in Kashmir erupted after over 50 students of Government Degree College, Pulwama, were injured in forces action while objecting to setting up of a checkpost near the college. Meanwhile, dozens of protesters blocked the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Banihal town over the alleged harassment and thrashing of students by security personnel. Sources said a group of students were allegedly thrashed by CRPF men near Banihal town when a CRPF convoy was travelling from Kashmir to Jammu. The students later marched to Banihal town and blocked the highway. The police used force to disperse them. However, this aggravated the situation and students and locals staged a protest and blocked the national highway for at least six hours. After the authorities assured the protesters of a probe into the incident, they dispersed off peacefully. Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, Mohammad Aijaz said he had already ordered a probe into the issue. 'The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Banihal, will hold an inquiry into the whole issue,' the Ramban Deputy Commissioner said. Meanwhile, the District Magistrate, Shopian, said all higher secondary schools of the district and Degree College, Shopian, shall remain closed on April 19 in order to maintain law and order situation.