Student protests continue across Kashmir

Student protests continue across Kashmir

‘Govt using education for political gains; Education Minister must speak about thousands of students injured by security forces’

Students continued protests across Kashmir on Thursday against government announcement to conduct 10th and 12th class examinations from mid-November.

Hundreds of students of class 12 and class 10 assembled at Barzulla here and staged protest demonstrations. They took out a protest rally and marched through interior roads of the locality, raising anti-government slogans. 

They said that education minister must speak about thousands of students who have been injured by security forces.

“You (Government) have slapped public safety act on students, maimed and blinded them. Now again, you are using students as political shield for your own political gains,” they said. 

The students accused the state education ministry of being “blind to the situation” and asked it to think about of those students who are unable to read and write now because of pellet injuries.

“We believe that until there is no peace in Kashmir there should be no exams. Our future is uncertain and everyone today in Kashmir, including students, is surrounded by fear on all directions,” said a protesting student.

“How can we appear in exams while our fellow classmates are killed, injured, arrested and assaulted,” he added. 

“While on one side forces are torturing us both physically and mentally, on the other side government asks us to appear in exams. It is a mere political stunt. It seems that we are being made a tool by government to give the sense of normalcy in Kashmir,” said a group of students. 

Students also took out protest rallies in various villages of Pulwama. Reports said that students assembled at Rajpora and held peaceful protests.

They were holding banners, reading “Exam boycott till K-issue is resolved, wake up world against the Indian atrocities against unarmed Kashmiris.”

“We are ready for exams but not without mates maimed and blinded by Indian forces,” the placards read.

“We will not sit in exams without Insha and Yasir. We will not appear in tests without our friends who have been rendered blind by the government forces,” they said.

They slammed education minister for “closing his eyes on the brutalities on civilians by men in uniform”.

Students also took out peaceful protest rally at Terkuwangnu village. The students marched in the interior streets of the locality and urged authorities to defer the exams. 

Police lathi-charged the protesting students in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

Students of class 10th and 12th students of Khalmulla, Rangil, Nagbal, Shuhama and adjacent villages assembled at Faak. Carrying placards and chanting pro-freedom and anti-government slogans the students marched from Faak area to Nagbal.

“We will not appear in exams unless all the detained students are not released and the fabricated cases against them are not withdrawn," they said. 

They also demanded justice to those killed and injured in forces action. 

After the brief scuffle between protestors and police, police used light lathi-charge to disperse them. 

Hundreds of students from different areas of Rafiabad including Doabgah, Hadipora, Lorihama and Alsafa Colony assembled at main Achabal Chowk and staged anti-government protests.

They were holding placards, which read: “Punish killers, not students; Students are wounded, injured, blinded, you want us to write exams, shame for government.”

They said that they would not sit in any exam until the Kashmir issue is resolved. 

Similar reports were received from other districts including Bandipora, Anantnag (Islamabad) and Kupwara.

Meanwhile, stating that arrests of youth and schooling cannot go together, Kashmir Economic Alliance Chairman Muhammad Yasin Khan has accused the government of unleashing terror across the Valley through daytime siege and nocturnal raids.

Khan, who also heads the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, in a statement said, “As if unleashing worst ever humanitarian crises in Kashmir was not enough that Mehbooba Mufti-led government has been giving sleepless nights to the people of Kashmir and Chenab Valley through arrests and nocturnal raids.”

“Muslims of Kashmir and Chenab Valley are living under continuous fear whereas in the same territory armed Bhakts of RSS are given police protection to carry out marches, which are aimed at frightening the majority community of the state,” Khan said.

Taking a dig at Education Minister, Khan said Naeem Akhter is acting like a programmed-robot who knows only to issue provocative statements for reopening of schools.

“No doubts education is must for life. But let the minister be informed that education is subject to life and conducive environment. How will the youth who is wounded in government action, or arrested, or is into hiding to avoid arrest, attend school or college?” Khan asked adding the motive behind running school bell was nothing but to pretend normalcy before world.

 (With inputs from Sheikh Nazir, Showkat Dar)