SRINAGAR: Clashes erupted in north Kashmir’s Handwara on Wednesday shortly after colleges and educational institutions re-opened following killing of a local teenager. Sources said that a large number of students from government Degree College Handwara including girls took to streets and staged protest demonstration against the killing of their colleague Shahid Ahmad Mir of Daril village of Tarathpora Handwara. Mir was killed by army on August 22 in an alleged fake encounter in Hangikote forests.
The colleagues of deceased collegiate tried to stage a protest march on Handwara streets but police force deployed in the area disallowed them to do so resulting into clashes. The protesting students chanting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans hurled stones and rocks while as police used few tear smoke shells to disperse them. At least two girl students fainted due to the suffocation who were shifted to district hospital Handwara where from they were discharged after first aid. The deputy medical superintendent of district hospital Handwara Dr Ajaz Ahmad said two students were admitted to hospital and relieved after first aid.
On August 22, a team of Indian army’s 6RR launched an operation in Hangikote forests and claimed that they killed a non-local militant in a gunfight, but when they handed over the body to police, the deceased was identified as a local college student Shahid Bashir Mir son of Bashir Ahmad Mir of Daril village of upper belt Handwara. His family said he was abducted by army and then killed in a fake encounter for their promotion and rewards.
The local police have told the family that there was nothing against the slain youngster in police records and that he was not affiliated with any militant group. Shahid was third year student of degree college Handwara and from the date of his killing all the higher secondary schools and degree colleges in district Kupwara including degree college Handwara were closed by the district administration fearing escalation in situation.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Handwara Gulam Jeelani Wani said that few students tried to protest at degree college Handwara but we handled them professionally and situation is now normal and under control. He said two girl students received minor injuries due to stones hurled by students. He said the injured students were stable.