There is no let-up in the student protests in Kashmir as the clashes between students of SP College and JK Police erupted here on Monday.
The prolonged clashes between students and polices has thrown up a major challenge for the security agency- JK Police to normalize the law and order situation while the administration in running out of ideas to bring down the brewing anger among the students.
The students of SP College Srinagar on Monday assembled inside the college premises and staged protests against the detention of students by JK Police over past many weeks.
Amid Pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, the students tried to march towards the streets. However, the Police reached the spot and tried to pacify the students, triggering clashes.
Witnesses said the JK Police pushed students inside the SP College lane and managed to close the entry gate of the college at MA Road and prevented the protesting students from marching into the streets.
However, the students engaged the Police in stone pelting for more than three hours inside the college premises.
“The Police pushed protesting students inside the entry gate at MA Road and following which clashes continued for several hours in the premises between students and Police,” eyewitnesses said.
The SP College staff however complained that they were forced to inhale smoke coming out of tear gas shells lobbed inside the premises. “Some tear gas shells landed inside the premises and whole staff members had to inhale smoke,” the staff members said.
Interestingly, the clashes erupted between the students and Police on the first day of NAAC team which visited the College for its re-accreditation.
“NAAC team is on two day visit here and we have apprehensions that today’s situation may play spoil sport for getting top rank for this institution,” the staff members said.
Meanwhile, Station House Officer (SHO) Kralkhud Police station Suhail Ahmad sustained head injuries during the clashes and was shifted to PCR for treatment.
“Some cops were also injured in the clashes. One cop was hit in his nose while as another was hit by stone on his face,” a police official said.
Also, two media persons covering the clashes sustained injuries after being hit by stones
Eyewitnesses said no student was arrested during the clashes despite Police making several attempts to catch hold of the protesting students who later fought pitched battles with police.
Later, chaos prevailed in Regal Chowk area after students from SP College assembled near Government Womens’ College MA Road and engaged police in stone pelting for hours.
During the clashes, shopkeepers downed their shutters for some time while as traffic came to a standstill as well. Situation returned to normal after some time in the area.
Meanwhile, a senior police official managing law and order situation termed the prolonged clashes as problematic and said there was rider from government side on police wherein they have been barred to enter inside the premises of educational institutions.
“And once we arrest them, it becomes a political issue and we receive calls from political leaders who force us to release the students after counselling. The irony is that the government expects that police officers are psychiatrists here. Amid the interference of political leaders, these students who participate in stone pelting get encouraged,” he said.
Pertinently, the district administration has decided to suspend the class work in SP Higher Secondary School (HSS) Srinagar for second consecutive day on Tuesday ‘as a precautionary measure to avoid student protest.’ “Teaching activity will remain suspended in SP School tomorrow,” Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone said.
Meanwhile, District administration Budgam has decided to suspend the class work at Government Degree College (GDC) Magam and Boys Higher Secondary School (HSS) Magam on Tuesday.