A major controversy has erupted following the forcible entry of army troops inside an educational institution situated in City outskirts here.
The students and staff members of Hussaini Public High School in HMT Srinagar Monday said they were harassed by the army troops of 02 RR camp located in the vicinity of the institution.
The staff members said the army troops entered inside the premises soon after the classes and harassed the students and staff members.
“They also misbehaved with the chairperson of the school and were very rude with the children,” the staff members said.
The army, according to staff members, entered the classrooms on the pretext that the students were pelting stones on the army camp.
“They entered the classrooms with sticks and weapons and harassed the students,” said a staff member wishing not to be named.
Besides harassing the teachers and staff members, the army personnel also misbehaved with the chairperson of the school in her office.
One of the staff members said Army during morning hours had some argument with drivers of local passenger buses and later harassed students who were on way to their school through the same route.
“But they (Armymen) argued that the school children were pelting stones on their camp during the incident on roadside. Our students were coming to school and the army men ran after them and entered inside the premises, heckling the gate keeper,” the staff member said.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the school Qulsum Kar said the army men accompanied by a Major made their forcible entry inside the premises and started harassing the students.
“Army was very rude with the students and with me as well. It was a flock of Army and they were distributing bamboos to their men inside the premises,” she said.
She said they have recorded the CCTV footage and developed a CD of the incident as well.
“They (Army men) came to my office without permission. I told the Army Major to behave like an officer inside the educational institution but he was rude,” she said.
“I tried to make them understand that even if something has happened outside on road but they should give some respect to an academic institution.”
Kar said the army major also entered the classroom and started a speech but was not allowed to continue.
“During his speech army Major used terrorist word for students. I went there and stopped him. He was having large number of army men along for which I objected and asked them to vacate,” she said.
She said the school management also informed the Commanding Officer (CO) of the army, officials from JK Police and Chairman Private School Association Kashmir (PSAK), G N Var.
“The incident has created fear psychosis among students. Students are now feeling insecure inside their institution as well,” Kar said.
As the news about the entry of army inside educational institution spread, Deputy Commissioner deputed chief education officer Srinagar to the spot to take a review of the situation.
“As per the directions from DC Srinagar, I went to the spot. The concerned SP West and army commander had taken up the matter with school authorities. Army has tendered apology and stated that such incident won’t be repeated,” said Chief Education Officer Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Dar.
Chairman Private School Association Kashmir (PSAK) G N Var expressed anguish over the incident and said the government has given a free hand to the forces to harass the school going children which ultimately will tell upon the academics of the students.
“This is very unfortunate, government wants to repeat Pulwama Degree College incident. Our association will shut all the private schools if these incidents are repeated,” he said.
Meanwhile, an army spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said some students who were pelting stones near the army camp were asked not to indulge in such activities and taken to the school principal by the company commander.
“No teacher or student was harassed in any way,” said Col Rajesh Kalia.