Sopore: Scores of students from Sopore degree college held a demonstration at sub-district magistrate’s office here, demanding immediate resumption of their classes.
The college had suspended classes, after student protests erupted last week following the killing of Hizb commander Sabzar Bhat.
Last month, the college remained shut for many days on district administration’s orders when valley wide pro-freedom protests by students went on for weeks. Students protested against government forces entry into the Pulwama college campus. Violent clashes, during which several students were injured, took place across the valley.
Responding to protests by students, the college came up with an unusual timetable that scheduled classes for female students on the first three days of the week while classes for male students were scheduled for the remaining half of the week.
The suspension of class work and the sudden timetable change has surprised the students, especially the college’s boys.
“We have assembled here, so that we can put our grievances in front of additional district commissioner. We want the resumption of classes, as our exams are coming close,” a 1st year student Faisal Ahmad, told reporters. “It is a worrying for us, but the authorities seem hell bent on spoiling our careers. If they cannot maintain the law and order and are continuously failing to control the student protests, that’s not our fault. Why we have to pay for their failures?”
“Even if they resume our classes, the change in our timetable is going to affect our education,” another student said. “Limiting classes to three days from six is stupidity. Our syllabus was in any case difficult to cover in six days of class work. It is now incomplete, and we have only three days of classes a week to cover it”.
The students met with Additional District Commissioner, Khursheed Ahmad, and submitted a memorandum to him.
When contacted the principle of GDC of Sopore, Mushtaq Ahmad, said the change in class schedule was an order from the ministry. “It’s not just Sopore, other places too have the same time table,” he said.
The ADC Sopore Khursheed Ahmed Shah told Kashmir Reader that this was a serious concern and “we will work on this issue”, adding that decision was taken only for the safety of students.