Residents in Shopian district were struck with panic after authorities ordered private coaching centres shut following rumours that New Delhi was preparing to scrap Article 35A and consternation about a possible war between India and Pakistan.
The verbal diktat came after police on Saturday dropped in on many private coaching institutes and asked teachers to shut the centres for at least a week.
"Some of us were summoned to police station where we were asked to shut the institutes for a week," said a teacher.
He said they were not told anything about the reasons behind the move. Another teacher said that the move would further fan rumours in the area.
"We are unable to offer any reason to students about shutting the centres. Naturally, they believe the grapevine."
Shopian often remains shut due to strikes, and closing down the private coaching institutes is bound to further affect education of thousands of students in the district.
"Academic activities in schools and colleges remain frequently suspended here. This is one of the reasons we send our children to private tuition centres, but now here too they find themselves at the receiving end," said Mohammd Asharaf, a parent.
Although on Sunday government spokesperson Rohit Kansal at a press conference in Jammu dispelled the rumours doing rounds over the past two days in Kashmir, shutting down of coaching centres has further spiked fears about war and scrapping of Article 35A.
District police chief Sandeep Kumar Choudary was not available for comment.
Meanwhile, authorities on Sunday also blocked the cellular internet services in the district for unknown reasons.