May 2017 News

Student Protests Continue; 15 Hurt

16 May 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Samaan Lateef

Srinagar: At least 15 students were injured during clashes with security forces in north Kashmir after posters carrying the Hizbul Mujahideen stamp surfaced on the premises of educational institutes, asking students to protest. Hundreds of college and higher secondary school students came out on roads, chanting anti-India slogans and threw stones at the security forces personnel deployed at Pattan in Baramulla district, nearly 30 km north of Srinagar. Police officers said the students were asked to protest after the morning assembly while teachers were asked to remain silent and allow the students to protest. As soon as the morning assembly was over, the protesting students came out from Government Higher Secondary School, Pattan, and tried to block the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. However, the police and paramilitary resisted, triggering a daylong protest, which was joined in by local college students too. The security forces retaliated to the stone-throwing with teargas and pellet shelling. 'We received 15 injured students, and three of them with pellet injuries were shifted to Srinagar for specialised treatment,' said Block Medical Officer, Pattan, Manzoor Hakeem. Police officers said the posters appeared to be fake and a conspiracy hatched by some local miscreants. 'They (posters) don't appear to be original Hizb posters. We are investigating whether they were pasted by the Hizb or by some local miscreants,' said DSP Aamir Iqbal. Student protestswere witnessed at Hajin, the hub of counter-insurgents in the 1990s, in Bandipora district of north Kashmir. Students peltedsecurity men with stones, triggering protests. The protesters were dispersed after the security forces resorted to lathicharge. Protests were also witnessed in Srinagar and south Kashmir. Students of MultiPurpose Multi-Lateral Higher Secondary School and Government Gandhi College in Srinagar took out a protest march today.Security personnel tried to foil the march, triggering clashes. Security men fired teargas shells to disperse the students. A dozen students were arrested, police officers said. Clashes between students and security personnel also erupted at Degree College, Dooru, after security personnel allegedly thrashed students who were on their way to college. As soon as the news spread in the college, students took to the streets and staged a protest against the security personnel. Students have been holding protests since April 17 after at least 50 protesting students were injured in police action in Pulwama degree college on April 15. Nine youth, most of them students, were arrested on Monday after they were found posing with a Pakistani flag for photographs at Pahalgam in Anantnag district. Pahalgam is a tourist resort and the arrested youth were apparently on a picnic. A senior police officer from Anantnag said: 'We received inputs that some youth were spotted posing with a Pakistani flag at different places across Pahalgam,' he said. He said a team was dispatched and all nine had been arrested. oc