Shopian killings trigger student ‘disorder’ across Valley

Srinagar: The resumption of normal class work in schools and colleges has apparently become a major challenge for the government as campuses across Kashmir erupted in protests on Thursday. The schools were opened after three days of closure ordered by the administration following the civilian and militant killings on last Sunday. 

As the schools reopened on Thursday, students took out protests across Kashmir and disrupted the class work in almost all the educational institutions.

Witnesses said that the students fought pitched battles with the police which were deployed to control law and order situation. Besides boys, girl students also staged protests against the civilian killings in Kashmir and pelted forces with stones at various places.

Witnesses said, three students suffered minor injuries during clashes with the government forces in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Thursday.

The students of Degree College Handwara held a protest demonstration inside the college premises against the recent south Kashmir killings.

Amid anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, the protesting youth tried to march out of the college premises.

“However, police and paramilitary forces swung into action and charged the students with batons to disperse them,” an eye witnesses said, adding that clashes erupted after a police vehicle entered the college premises.

Scores of students of Degree College Kupwara clashed with government forces in this north Kashmir district against the recent killings in south Kashmir.

Raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, the students tried to march towards the main road. However, police and paramilitary forces intercepted them, and fired tear gas shells to disperse them.

“The students re-grouped and fought pitched battles with the forces,” witnessed said.

Notably, a wave of student protests swept across Kashmir against Shopian civilian and militant killings. From north to south and east to west, the students held protest demonstrations and clashed with the forces in the valley.

Meanwhile, students of Central University of Kashmir held at a protest at the campus on Thursday against the killings of thirteen militants and four civilians in Shopian on Sunday.

An eye witness said that the students held a peaceful protest at the campus to condemn the killings and express solidarity with their families.

Funeral prayers in absentia were also offered for the slain militants and the civilians.

Pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans were raised by the students during the demonstration. The students also hailed the statement of Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi who called the UN to intervene and stop the bloodshed in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the students of Kashmir University also held protests against the killings of militants and civilians in Shopian last Sunday.

The inmates of boys’ hostels marched through various departments holding placards to protest the killings. They raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.

As the students marched through various departments, scores of female students also joined in.

“The students were carrying placards against the killings and marched on the campus of the varsity,” witnesses said.

Also, the students of Islamia College in Hawal, Amar Singh College, Government Degree College Bemina and other colleges in the city took out protest demonstrations while raising slogans in favor of ‘Azadi’.

However, forces personnel deployed in strength tried to restrict the students from taking out protest demonstration, triggering clashes.

Reports said that the students of Amar Singh College torched a police picket near Sher-e-Kashmir Indoor Stadium in Srinagar on Thursday.

An eye witness said some protesting students reached near the stadium and set ablaze the picket. No policeman was present there when the incident took place.

The class work remained suspended in these educational institutes owing to protests.

Intense clashes were earlier reported outside the college promises. The students tried to take out a protest march from the college against the recent killings across Kashmir.

Paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) spokesperson Rajesh Yadav confirmed the incident and said the torched picket belonged to Jammu and Kashmir police which was ‘torched by some angry protesters’.

The students of Government Degree College Sumbal in Bandipora offered funeral prayers in absentia for slain militants and civilians in Shopian and later clashed with the police.

Witnesses said the students took out a rally and marched to Irrigation Colony in Sumbal in which pro-freedom and anti-India slogans were raised.

“Earlier, hundreds of students gathered inside the premises of GDC Sumbal and offered funeral prayers in absentia for thirteen militants and four civilians killed in Shopian gunfights,” reports said.

It said that minor clashes erupted after the students pelted the forces with stones. The forces responded by firing tear gas shells.

Pertinently, last year the campuses erupted in April month following police action in Pulwama Degree College leaving around 50 students injured.

Following the incident, campuses erupted in protest across Kashmir which resulted in closure of educational institutions for a prolonged period of time. 

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