PULWAMA: More than a dozen students were arrested on Monday when clashes broke out after students held protests against the police detention of their four fellows. Witnesses said that students of Mehjoor Memorial higher secondary school held protests within the premises of the school in the morning. Later the protesting students marched towards degree college Pulwama, from where students of both the institutions marched towards the main chowk raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. They sat down in front of police station Pulwama and demanded the release of four school students who were detained by police a few days ago.
Witnesses said that policemen locked the gate of the police station and started firing teargas shells from the second floor of the building towards the students. The policemen later came out and resorted to heavy teargas shelling to drive away the stone-throwing students. The clashes led to a complete shutdown in the town market. After driving away the students, a huge deployment of police and paramilitary was made in the town to prevent further protests. Locals told Kashmir Reader over phone that policemen after the clashes arrested more than a dozen students who were returning home from coaching centers.
“The troops deployed in strength in the town arrested over a dozen students and ruthlessly beat them. They caught hold of everyone they saw wearing a school uniform,” said a local.
The arrests of the students triggered massive protests by women in Murran Chowk later in the day. Witnesses said that women assembled at Murran Chowk to demand the release of the arrested students, but the troops resorted to teargas shelling to disperse them.
A police officer, requesting anonymity, said that police had decided to release all the four detained boys today. “We had not even registered an FIR against them. We were planning to set them free today. But the students again disturbed the law and order,” the police officer said.