Keller (Shopian): The army on Saturday allegedly beat students of a government-run winter tuition centre at Keller higher secondary school after vehicles of army came under mild stone-pelting near the school.
One of the teachers of the school, wishing anonymity, told Kashmir Reader, “At about 11am, when we were only three teachers in the school, the army entered our classrooms while we were conducting classes. They beat 13 students and snatched their identity cards as well as of the three teachers, including me,” he said.
He added, “Despite telling the troopers that none of the students in our class had gone outside in the past 30 minutes, they started beating a student claiming that he hurled stones on them. When we protested, saying the army had no jurisdiction to enter classrooms without permission, they started beating other students as well.”
Another teacher from the school, who was present there when the army allegedly entered, said that the troopers ruthlessly beat one of the students, whom they identified as Gowhar Ahmad, resident of Chowan village of Keller belt. The injured student, the teacher said, was referred to the local public health centre from where he was discharged after treatment.
The teachers said they were not certain if any students of the school were involved in the stone-pelting incident, but the students who were beaten while class work was going on were certainly not involved in any incident outside.
The school authorities told Kashmir Reader that about 450 students are studying at the government-run winter tuition centre.
Zahid Ahmad, one of the teachers at the school, told Kashmir Reader that after the army troopers beat and snatched identity cards of staff and students, the teachers held a peaceful protest. “The station house officer (SHO) of Keller fully cooperated with us and brought back the cards of students, but our cards are still in the army camp. The SHO told us that the army has told him to tell teachers to come to the army camp to collect their cards. The SHO assured us that he will accompany us to the army camp on Monday,” Ahmad said.
Local residents, after they heard the news of this incident, also staged a protest against the army and asked local shopkeepers to pull down their shutters.
SHO Keller, Sharad, told Kashmir Reader that the cards of the students had been given back to them.
Senior Superintendent of Police Shopian SA Dinkar said that the incident was resolved on the spot. “Some stone-pelting happened there, but as per my knowledge the major issue was solved there on the spot,” he said.
When asked about the cards of teachers still lying in the army camp, he said, “I will find out if any issue is there and it will be taken care of.”