Student protests refuse to die down in South Kashmir as police have carried out raids in Pulwama and at least arrested 14 youth in past one week while as it is looking out for over 100 others who had protested and indulged in the stone pelting since April 12 when demonstrations started here.
Police sources said that they have arrested at least 14 youth who were caught indulging in the incidents of stone pelting in past one week at the main square of the town in Pulwama.
Sources said that at least 100 students are wanted in incidents of pro-freedom protests and the police presence outside the degree college Pulwama and Government Higher Secondary Pulwama is only fuelling the protests.
On Wednesday students continued protests for several hours at the main square of Pulwama and police had to resort to the heavy use of tear smoke shells to disperse the mob. Students donning school uniforms from adjoining institutions had gathered in large numbers at the main square and resorted to stone pelting. Student protests also continued today in Pulwama that lead to disruption of vehicular activity.
A senior police official said that the students were detained at different places, as the police chased them. “Students were caught indulging in incidents of stone pelting even as the number of those involved in protests was much larger,” said a senior police official.
Suhaib Shakeel, student of a local higher secondary school, said that the police had carried out raids at their institute earlier, following which the protests erupted here. “Government also closed the schools for some days, but students are angry over the raids,’’ he said.
A local shopkeeper, Abdul Hamid, said that the “ government forces arrested many of the students from the main chowk while catching hold of them as they were indulging in stone pelting.’’
Hamid who witnessed the arrests said that the protests continued only after the detention of youth. Last month students pelted stones at an army vehicle which was trying to make entry into the degree college Pulwama to arrange a seminar. Later the college authorities asked the police and paramilitary force personnel not to enter into the college after students had hurled stones on their patrolling party. But the forces rushed into the college and thrashed many students with batons triggering protests across Kashmir.
The student protests have only made the security situation difficult in South Kashmir, which has seen a spate of bank robberies by unidentified gunmen and the attacks by militants on government forces.