ANANTNAG: Yaripora area in Kulgam district of south Kashmir observed a shutdown for the fourth consecutive day on Friday over residents’ demands that a government degree college (GDC) be sanctioned to their area.
Yaripora is the Tehsil headquarters and, with around 50 villages, holds arguably the largest catchment area in Homeshalibugh assembly segment.
The protesting residents said that education in the area has been repeatedly ignored and the demand for a degree college has been put on the backburner for many years now.
“We have decided that the strike will be indefinite unless the government pays heed to our demand, the long-pending one,” the locals told Kashmir Reader.
To streamline their agitation, the residents have formed a representative group called Awami Behbood Committee (ABC).
“We will take this struggle to its conclusion,” the residents said, while they lamented that no official or politician, their lawmaker included, has visited them so far.
But, they say, the apathy shown by the authorities will not deter them.
Kashmir Reader talked to Education Minister Altaf Bukhari, who assured that a degree college will be sanctioned to Homeshalibugh Assembly segment.
“To which area is a matter of survey and the area meeting the demands of the criteria for setting up of a college,” Bukhari said.
He said that the government was committed to open a degree college in constituencies that do not have one.
“But the college cannot be sanctioned just because the people of a particular area are agitating. It will be sanctioned after due survey for criteria guidelines,” he said.