BUDGAM: The residents of Watrehail area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district staged a massive protest Saturday against the failure of successive regimes to establish a promised degree college in the area.
A large number of people assembled on the main road and chanted slogans against the government for “misleading” them.
Carrying placards reading “we want Degree College”, hundreds of protestors blocked the road.
“We have been neglected by the successive governments on one or the other pretext,” Abdul Rashid, a protestor said, adding that in 2104, when preparations for assembly elections were on peak, the former CM, Omar Abdullah, who also represented the constituency, visited the area along with officials of higher education.
“During that visit, he assured us that a degree college would be established in our area on priority,” Rashid said. “However, when higher education department sanctioned fifty new degree colleges in Kashmir valley, we have been time and again ignored”.
All shops were shut in the area following the shutdown call given by the Auqaf Committe Watrehail.
Abdul Salam Mir, another resident, said that Watrehail is a far flung area and deserves a degree college “but unfortunately the authorities have so far failed to do so and have neglected our area”.
He added that despite tall claims by the successive regimes, nothing has been done in this regard, “therefore the people, especially the student community has been left in lurch”.
“This is sheer injustice with the people of Watrehail and adjacent areas,” another resident said while appealing the Governor led administration to look into the demand.
“We hope that justice will be done and the college will be established in the area,” he said.
“Our children are being forced to cover long distances to reach their colleges in Srinagar or Budgam as there is no degree college in our area at present,” an elderly resident said.