Principal ‘forced’ to ask girl students not to attend R-day events

Srinagar: A group of unidentified young men has forced the principal of a girls’ school in to appeal to his students not to take part in official Republic Day functions.

A video that has gone viral in the Valley shows Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, principal of the Government Girls’ School at Pinglena in Pulwama district, being forced by a group of youth to make the appeal to his students.

“I appeal (to) all the girls not to take part in the functions (on January 26),” Sheikh is finally heard saying in the undated video.

He is seen telling the youth, whose faces are hidden, that he had orders from higher authorities saying students should be urged to take part in various activities on the occasion.

“I have (written) orders and I have also been told on the phone to send the girls to these functions,” he said.

The video shows one of the young men telling the principal why senior officials do not send their daughters to such events.

“So many youth (militants) have been martyred and you want our sisters to dance in front of these police officers,” he is heard saying in Kashmiri in the video, which has the words “Pulwama pelters” running through it.

The principal was also told they would take action against students who participated in official functions.

“We have agents in the police (department) as well as those who are present at these function.

“We will take the girls to task who participate in the official functions,” one of them said.

Before leaving, the intruders also forced the principal to apologise to the people.

When contacted, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Pulwama Mohammad Aslam Choudary told a local news gathering agency they have taken cognizance of the incident.

“Yes militants are involved in the incident and we have launched an inquiry to identify them”, SSP said, adding that action as per law will be initiated against the militants involved in the threatening and beating of the Principal.

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