Srinagar: Dozens of Kashmir University students organised funeral prayers in absentia for two militants killed in Sopore on Saturday.
The students assembled near the lawns of Iqbal (Central) Library, shouted pro-freedom slogans and then offered prayers for the duo.
The students, while condemning use of force on unarmed civilians, demanded an end to civilian killings in Kashmir and called for a one-time solution to Kashmir problem.
“Unless the vexed issue is not resolved, people would bleed from both the sides. Rather than suppressing people and indulging in wishful thinking about normalcy, the government should address genuine problems to stop the further bloodshed,” the students told Kashmir Reader.
They said the government was “forcing Kashmiri youth to pick up arms because of its anti-Kashmir policies”.
The students alleged that chief proctor of the Kashmir University Naseer Iqbal tried to stop them from offering prayers for the militants and warned them of ‘dire consequences’ for having participated in the protest march and funeral prayers.
“He (Iqbal) threatened us that he would teach us a lesson once we (hostel boarders) are back to our rooms. He said we should have sought permission (to carry out protest march) from hostel warden. He said they (university administration) would not allow such activities on the campus,” the protesting students said.
The students said the administration creates no hurdles when students, affiliated with organisations having patronage of some political parties, carry out their activities.
“When we do something we are threatened with dire consequences. As Kashmiris we feel the pain of our brothers whenever they are hurt and we would protest come what may,” they said.
The chief proctor, however, denied that he threatened the students.
“I only wanted them to go back to their hostels as some outsider could have taken advantage of students gathering and resorted to unlawful activity. The safety of boarders is our prime responsibility and we don’t want compromise with it,” Iqbal told Kashmir Reader.
He said whether students have patronage of any group or not, the varsity administration has “strict directions to not allow any unwanted activity on the campus.”