SHO denies; principal says police had come to ‘request us to counsel students against throwing stones and to cancel half-day holiday on Friday’
Srinagar: Probably for the first time, police tried to storm a private school in Srinagar to arrest a class 10 student and alleged stone thrower, who eventually surrendered after his father was arrested in his place.
However, authorities of the Standard Public School, Upper Soura, didn’t let the police to enter the premises and stopped them at the gate.
“Authorities had a heated argument with police and resolutely told them that no student will be handed over to them,” said a school staffer on condition of anonymity as he feared reprisals.
A few local residents who witnessed the incident said the student’s father rushed to the school after being informed about the raid. But he was arrested on the spot and told he would be set free only after his son surrenders at the police station.
The boy is in the police station since and the father has been released.
A few students who witnessed school authorities’ resistance to the raid said they were terrified and many of them screamed.
“We feared we might be picked up and we made plans how to escape from school. It was scary,” said a student.
The principal of the school, Ghulam Nabi Zargar, said, “It was not a raid. The police had come with a request that we should counsel students so that they do not indulge in stone throwing.”
“But what annoyed us was that they had come here in khaki uniforms and were carrying arms which didn’t go well with the faculty and students here,” the principal said.
Zargar said the police told him to cancel the half-day holiday on Friday so that students would remain busy with studies for the whole day “rather than witnessing or pelting forces with stones”.
Station Houses Officer of Soura Police Station GM Rather told Kashmir Reader said “we didn’t carry any such activity”. He told this reporter to contact Hazratbal Superintendent of Police for further information.
However, several attempts by Kashmir Reader to contact the SP did not fructify. The officer did not reply to KR calls on his personal mobile number provided to this reporter by the Police Control Room telephone exchange. Two officials at Hazratbal police station who responded to four calls by Kashmir Reader on landline number—one of them identified himself as the SP’s PA—said the officer was busy.