Students clash with police in Srinagar, Pulwama

There seems to be no let-up in student protests in Kashmir despite the government assurance that the arrested students will be released from police custody.

Student protests and clashes erupted in city’s commercial hub Lal chowk and south Kashmir’s Pulwama town against the arrest of the students by police during past weeks for their participation in stone pelting.

During the morning hours Tuesday, a group of students from SP Higher Secondary School (HSS) assembled inside the premises and staged protests demanding release of arrested students.

Witnesses said a group of students was hurling stones towards the MA road from the SP HSS lane.

However, the police reached the spot and tried to pacify the students. Following police intervention, the situation was brought under control.

Situation turned volatile after the students from Government Women College MA Road Srinagar took to streets after the College was over.

The students from the college amid pro-freedom and Anti-India slogans staged massive protest on MA road and demanded release of the arrested students.

Witnesses said that cops thrashed protesting girl students of MA Road College triggering clashes.

They said the Police personnel thrashed female students who were protesting on MA road. “Police was accompanied with Women Police but the male police cops harassed the girl students and one girl was kicked as well,” the witnesses said.

Few protesting girls felt unconscious following the police action on them. “A girl fell unconscious after a policeman kicked her in the stomach,” the eyewitnesses said.

The incident according to eye witnesses led to a heated argument between shopkeepers and police after the former provided water to an unconscious girl student.

“Later, Police party forced the shopkeepers to down their shutters,” they said.

A pedestrian was also arrested by police during the clashes.

Earlier, the students from schools and colleges of neighbouring educational institutes assembled near Exchange Road and resorted to stone pelting. They also hit the bunker outside Telephone exchange with canes.

Meanwhile, the police chased away the students who managed their entry inside the campus of MA road and clashed with Police.

The students resorted to stone pelting on Police from inside the campus. The police responded by bursting tear gas shells.

The vehicular movement on MA Road and residency Road remained affected during the clashes. No Police official was available for his comments on why a girl student was kicked in her stomach.

Meanwhile, teaching work remained suspended for the second day Tuesday in Handwara Degree College and Higher Secondary Schools in district Kupwara.

“Class work at Government Degree College Handwara, Government Boys Higher Secondary School Handwara and Government Girls Higher Secondary School Handwara remained suspended as a precautionary measure,” an official spokesman said.

The teaching work in these institutions was suspended following clashes between students and forces. The students were protesting against entry of forces into Degree College Pulwama last month and subsequently use of force and arrest of students across the Kashmir Valley.

Kashmir witnessed surge in student protests after forces entered the college premises of GDC Pulwama on April 15 resulting in injuries to over 50 students.

Also, the district administration in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Tuesday ordered the suspension of class work in Government Boys Higher Secondary school following yesterday’s clashes.

“Class work will remain suspended today at Govt Boys Higher Secondary school Budgam,” said an official.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in south Kashmir’s Pulwama town on Tuesday after students from Government Boys Higher Secondary School (HSS) Pulwama took to streets and staged protests against the student arrests.

The protesting students pelted stones on forces, which retaliated by lobbing tear gas shells. Witnesses said that two students were detained during the clashes.

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