Massive protests rocked Kashmir valley on Thursday as students took to streets and clashed with the forces. A security picket was torched by angry students who engaged in stone pelting with the forces.
The protests started from Bemina Degree College Srinagar and spread to other colleges of Srinagar as well. Students from various schools and colleges in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district held protest demonstrations against the recent killings by government forces in Kashmir Valley.
The schools and colleges opened after three days on Thursday following government order of closing all schools and colleges in the Valley in view of the civilian and militant killings in South Kashmir.
Girl students of Women’s College Baramulla and Girls Higher Secondary School Baramulla held protest demonstrations at around 3 p.m soon after the end of class work.
The school and colleges in Srinagar where the protests took place include SP higher Secondary school, Islamia College of Science and Commerce Hawal, Amar Singh College Gogji Bagh and Government Degree College (GDC) Bemina. The protests were also held at Kashmir University and Central University of Kashmir Nowgam.
In the morning the clashes were witnessed at Bemina Degree College where the students were chanting pro-freedom slogans and were demanding punishment to the personnel who killed the civilians in South Kashmir on Sunday.
Massive clashes also erupted between forces and students in Amar Singh College where students pelted stones on forces and in retaliation the forces lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the students.
A group of protesting students of Amar Singh College also burnt down a police picket outside the college near the Indoor Stadium.
A group of students of Women’s College MA road Srinagar earlier staged a protest demonstration inside the college and later took to streets against the civilian and militant killings in South Kashmir.
While chanting pro-freedom slogans one of the student of Women’s College MA Road told Rising Kashmir, “Those civilians who were killed in Shopian were our brothers and until the government will punish the culprits, we will not step back.”
Principal of Women’s college, Shaheen Altaf, however said that class work went on smoothly.
In the downtown areas students of different institutions assembled near the Islamia College of Science and Commerce Hawal and pelted stones on forces. Eyewitnesses said that the forces in retaliation baton charged protestors and also fired teargas canisters to disperse the students.
According to reports during clashes a number of students from different colleges sustained minor injuries.
Apart from Srinagar many colleges and school students of North Kashmir also protested against the civilian and militants killings in South Kashmir.
At the institutions including Government Degree College Sumbal, Girls Higher Secondary School Baramulla, Higher Secondary School Pattan and Government Degree College Kupwara students took out strong protests.
Eyewitness told Rising Kashmir that girl students were raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans within the school premises and in the market.
A police official said that police personnel who were deployed for law and order duties showed maximum restraint while dealing with law and order problem. Additional deployment of female police was made to maintain law and order in the area.
Hundreds of students at Higher Secondary School Pattan held a peaceful demonstration within the school premises against the recent civilian killings in the Valley. The students were shouting anti-government and anti-forces slogans inside the school campuses.
Following the protests, an official said, that the class work was suspended till further orders.
However SHO Pattan refuted the news said that the protests were held anywhere in Pattan area.
The district administration had earlier ordered suspension of class work in Boys and Girls Higher Secondary School Sopore, besides Boys and Women’s Degree College Sopore as a precautionary measure on Thursday.
Minor stone pelting incident was reported in Batpora area of Sopore on Thursday.
Meanwhile clashes erupted between youth and government forces in volatile Pallahalan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district in the wee hours on Thursday.
Eyewitness told Rising Kashmir that scores of youth protested in Palhallan area against the civilian killings in south Kashmir. A complete shutdown was observed in the area throughout the day.
The protesting youth threw stones on the government forces resulting in clashes.
However, extra deployment of forces was put in place to normalize the situation. The traffic on Srinagar-Baramulla road however remained unaffected.
Life however returned to normal in Baramulla, Sopore and Pattan areas of Baramulla district after four days of complete shutdown.
Meanwhile a police spokesman said that news about the death of a youth was flashed on various social networking sites with “intent to cause fear and alarm in general public regarding the death of a student in Handwara during law and order situation.”
Handwara police has clarified that no such incident has happened in the district. It is also clarified that some incidents of stone pelting by students were reported, and police handled it “with due caution and care.”
Some officers and men of forces were injured in these incidents, the police spokesman said, adding that Handwara Police has registered a case against “rumour mongers under FIR No 118/2018 in PS Handwara under sections 505 RPC and 66 IT act and investigations into the matter was taken up.”
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E-paper Buland Kashmir Sangarmal