April 2018 News

Students Ignore Minister's 'advice', Clashes Continue Across Kashmir

23 April 2018
Kashmir Dispatch

Srinagar: Paying no heed to Jammu and Kashmir education minister's advice to resume classwork, college and school students continued protests in several places of the valley on Monday. Clashes broke out at several places after forces thwarted student marches demanding justice for the 8-year old girl who was raped and murdered in Kathua. A student sustained pellet injuries in Anantnag town. The youth, identified as Wamiq Aijaz, was taken to a hospital. 'He has sustained pellet injuries,' a doctor said. Markets in Anantnag town shut immediately after clashes broke out. Public transport also stopped plying. Clashes between students and forces continued for several hours in the main town with forces firing pellets and . A local report noted that forces barged inside the college campus in the district and arrested several students. Police, however, didn't confirm the arrested. But, the local report, quoting witnesses said that police fired tear smoke shells and aerial shots to disperse the protesting students, which triggered massive clashes. 'Police vehicles entered inside the government college campus and they arrested many students after barging into the classrooms,' a witness was quoted as saying. Similar clashes between students and forces also broke out at two places in Shupian and Pulwom districts. Informed sources in the police said protesting youth pelted stones at an army vehicle in Shupian's Pinjor village prompting the army troops inside the vehicle to fire several shots in the air to disperse the mob. In Murran village of Pulwom, another Army team was allegedly attacked with stones following which clashes erupted between the forces and the demonstrators. Clashes were also reported from Varmul, where at least 60 students were taken into 'preventive detention'. Police sources said they will be set free after counseling. Clashes between students and forces also took place in Ganderbal district in Central Kashmir. Scores of students and policemen were injured in the clashes. In Srinagar, women paramilitary was deployed in strength in Lal Chowk. Girl students have been forefront of the anti-government protest in the conflict torn region. Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday decided to shut coaching centres across Kashmir for the next three months, triggering talk that the move is aimed at keeping students away from street protests. Education minister Atlaf Bukhari, however, insisted that student protests did not guide the decision. Bukhari announced the decision in Srinagar after chairing a meeting of education officers and principals of higher secondary schools. He had also appealed the students to resume classes.