There is no end to protests for the fourth consecutive day as student demonstrations against the thrashing of their colleagues by security forces in Pulwama College continued in various parts of Kashmir on Thursday. In retaliation, state government ordered closure of all Higher Secondary Schools on Friday while all colleges have already been closed since Monday.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir on Wednesday extended suspension of teaching work in all Collages of Kashmir on April 20 and 21 “as a precautionary measure.”
While the class work remained suspended for the fourth consecutive day, massive protest by students erupted in north and central districts of Kashmir.
On Thursday girl students of Nawa Kadal HSS took out a protest march who were later joined by local youth after rumors about Iqra - a student who was injured on Monday - spread in the area.
The protesting students were shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. Police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the protestors.
The female students continued their protest even after boys were dispersed by police.
One girl identified as Khusboo Jan was hit in her head who was later shifted to SMHS hospital for treatment.
Protests and clashes erupted in north Kashmir after students in Kaloosa locality of Bandipora district staged protests in solidarity with the students of Pulwama college. As the students tried to march in the area, police chased the youth, triggering clashes.
Witnesses said that police entered the premises of Nadim Memorial Higher Secondary School to disperse the protesting students. “Police entered the school campus and burst tear smoke and sound shells, triggering clashes,” they said.
A police official however said that students pelted stones on SP office situated near the school, “which prompted us to retaliate.” The police official said the situation was brought under control.
Earlier, the students of Nadim Memorial Higher Secondary School in Kaloosa held a protest demonstration and were shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
The pretesting students also blocked the Bandipora-Sopore road, hampering traffic movement.
Witnesses said a woman was hit by a stone in her head during the clashes in the area and was shifted to District Hospital Bandipora for treatment.
“Asha (60) resident of Quil was hit by a stone. She received five stitches on her head and was discharged after first aid,” a doctor at DH Bandipora said.
Students of Girls High School Ajas also held sit-in protests and blocked the Srinagar-Bandipora road.
Protests were also held by students of HSS Bandipora.
Superintendent of police Bandipora, Zulfikar Azad, said that some students pelted stones on SP office Bandipora and the police personnel present there chased them away. “But we didn’t use any force on them. They are our own children,” he added.
Protests were also held by students from GHSS Dangiwacha in Baramulla and GHSS Muqam Hendwandpora in Handwara.
Eyewitnesses said the students of Dangiwacha took out a protest march from school and marched up to Watrgam main market while chanting anti-government slogans.
The students also blocked Baramulla-Handwara road for several hours.
Clashes erupted at Sopernaghama Kralgund as students of GHSS Muqam Hindwanpora staged protest against security forces’ action on Pulwama college students.
Amid anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, they blocked Baramulla-Kupwara Highway. However, Police restored to tear gas shelling to disperse the protesting students, triggering clashes in the area.
Reports of protests were also received from central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district wherein students of several educational institutions staged protest demonstration in solidarity with the students of Pulwama College.
Reports said that the students of GHSS Hariganiwan in Kangan assembled outside the school and marched up to main market. Later the students dispersed peacefully.
A police official however denied any such protest in the area.
A protest was also held by students of GHSS Ganderbal. Eyewitnesses said the police however swung into action and chased away the protesting students.
However, clashes erupted after police tried to chase the protesting students of GHSS Chatergul in Kangan area.
Reports said that protesting students allegedly resorted to stone pelting on army camp located in the area which was retaliated by forces as they fired in air.
Later, the army men allegedly went inside the school and thrashed the students, triggering massive protests, local sources said.
Sources said that senior police and civil officials rushed to spot to pacify the situation.
A senior police official confirmed the incident. “But the situation was brought under control,” he said.
Deputy CEO Ganderbal Nazir Ahmad told Greater Kashmir that he along with officers of police and civil administration visited the spot at Chhatergul and resolved the issue after listening to the student grievances.
SDM Kangan, Zahoor Ahmad, said it was a minor issue and was sorted out. "There was a verbal brawl between army personnel, students and teaching staff after an incident of minor stone pelting. But the issue was resolved,” SDM said.
Students of GGHS Ganiwan staged protests on Srinagar-Sonamarag road. The students later dispersed peacefully.
A police spokesman on Thursday said, “Some miscreants and some students of GHSS Nawakadal pelted stones upon security forces camp at Braripora Nawakadal in the jurisdiction of Police Station Safakadal. During this stone pelting one girl namely Khusboo Jan daughter of Ghulam Mohammad Kuchay resident of Noorbagh was hit by a stone on her forehead. She was shifted to SMHS Hospital for treatment where her condition is stable so far.”