Clashes rock Kashmir over Shopian student’s killing

Kashmir Valley erupted in protests over the killing of  a 19-year old youth in South Kashmir’s Shopian district. Clashes were reported from several parts of the Valley as Authorities suspended teaching activity as precautionary measure.

Adil Farooq Magray, a college student, was hit by a bullet in his chest after forces opened fire to disperse protesters who were pelting stones on them during a cordon and search operation in Ganawpora village of Shopian district.

Thousands of people today participated in the funeral prayers of Adil.

The slogans in favour of ‘Azadi’ were raised during the funeral prayers of Adil at his native Ganawpora village .  Men, women and children participated in the protests.

Three rounds of funeral prayers were held due to a massive rush of mourners who marched to the village from several areas of south Kashmir.

Scores of students were also injured in the clashes with the government forces. At least 15 students were injured in clashes with forces at Pampore and were later admitted at the local Sub District Hospital (SDH).

Intense clashes also erupted between protesting youth and forces in Pulwama town amidst complete shutdown in the area.

Youth took to streets amid pro-freedom sloganeering and started throwing stones on police and paramilitary troopers deployed in the town.

The forces resorted to tear gas canisters to disperse the youth.

A complete shutdown was observed in several South Kashmir districts including Pulwama and Shopian and all the shops and other business establishments remained closed while the vehicular movement was also thin on the roads.

A fresh spell of student protests erupted in both in North and South Kashmir districts against the killing of  Adil Farooq. On Wednesday campuses erupted as students hit roads to mark their protests against the killing of a youth.

The students of Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) staged a protest on Srinagar-Jammu highway at Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district against the killing of a youth in clashes last evening.

Eyewitnesses said the students amid pro-freedom slogans marched out of the IUST campus and staged a sit-in on Srinagar-Jammu highway which brought the traffic movement was at a stand-still.

The students said they staged a sit in against the killing of youth however the JK Police reached the spot and used water canisters to disperse the “peaceful” protesting students, triggering clashes in the area.

“It was sit-in protest but the Police used water canisters and warned us to leave from the highway,” the students said.

They said the Police warning agitated the students who resorted to stone pelting on police and paramilitary forces deployed in the area which Police retaliated by lobbing tear gas shells on them. “They are resorted to aerial firing to disperse the protesting students,” the students said.

The situation deteriorated after the Police arrested around four IUST students during the clashes. Post arrests, the IUST students, eyewitness said threatened to extend their protest of their university colleagues were not released. “Later, the students were released by Police in order to calm down the student anger,” the witnesses said.

The clashes disrupted the routine class work in university forcing the administration to close down the class work in the second half.

Later, the authorities also decided to suspend the class work on Thursday and Friday at the institution in the wake of massive protests.

Vice Chancellor IUST, Prof. Mushtaq Siddique said the class work was called off today after the first half following the student protests outside the campus.

“Class work was normally going on in morning but later we had to call off the class work in the second half following the student clashes with police,” he said.

He said there will be no class work for students for next two days in the campus. “We have ordered suspension of class work for Thursday and Friday,” Prof. Mushtaq Siddique said.

Meanwhile, student protests also erupted in Pampore area of south Kashmir after students from Government Boys Higher Secondary School (HSS) Pampore and Government Girls HSS Pampore staged a protest on Srinagar-Jammu highway near Namlabal area of Pulwama district.

The students including girls were protesting against the killing of a youth in Shopian last evening.

Soon after protests, students took to streets to stage protests. However, the Police deployed in the area swung into action to thwart student protests resulting into clashes in the area.

Witnesses said the protesting students pelted stones at the police and paramilitary personnel deployed in the area who responded by lobbing tear gas shells.

“During the clashes around three students sustained injuries,” witnesses said.

During the clashes, the traffic movement was affected on the highway for some time. Meanwhile, a complete shutdown is being observed across the town.

Student protests also spread to Handwara town in Kupwara district wherein students of Government Degree College (GDC) Handwara staged protest to express their anger against the killing of a student in Shopian last evening.

Witnesses said that hundreds of students of the College took to streets and staged massive protests against the killing.

Witnesses said the protesting students amid pro-freedom and anti-government slogans marched on main road in the town. “As soon as the students took to streets Police swung into action to disperse them,” witnesses said.

They said students resorted to stone pelting on the forces who responded by firing tear smoke shells on them. They said clashes lasted for hours which disrupted the traffic movement in on Highway.


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