SRINAGAR, Apr 20: Even as apex students body Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU) today called on student community to resume class work but fresh protests and clashes erupted in downtown city and other areas of Valley for the fourth consecutive today in which several girl students were injured.
Hundreds of students from Girls Higher Secondary School (GHSS) Nawakadal in old city today took out a protest rally from their school and marched towards Nallahmar road. The girl students were shouting slogans against government and police and when they reached near Braripora in Nawakadal, some youths allegedly pelted stones on security forces after which police resorted to teargas shelling, ensuing clashes between the two sides.
The clashes in the area intensified after death rumors of a school girl injured during stone-pelting started making rounds. The heavy stone-pelting clashes spread to nearby Sekkidafar, Nawakadal and Rajouri Kadal during which shopkeepers downed their shutters. Police responded by lobbing teargas shells to disperse protesters including girl students.
A police spokesman said: “Today miscreants and some students of Government Higher Secondary School Nawakadal pelted stones upon security forces camp at Braripora Nawakadal.” He said during stone pelting, a girl namely Khusboo Jan was hit by a stone on her forehead. “She was shifted to SMHS Hospital for treatment where her condition is stable so far,” the police said.
Police also dismissed rumors about death of Iqra, a resident of Hawal in Srinagar, who was hit by a stone on April 17 at Sekkidafar during a stone pelting incident. The spokesman of police said that girl is recovering fast. Meanwhile, students also staged a protest at Central Kashmir’s Kangan area of Ganderbal district. The students hit streets at Ganiwan and Chhatergul in Kangan and staged protests against recent police action on students.
In North Kashmir’s twin districts, the students took to streets, held protests and clashed with police. The students at Kralgund in Handwara area of frontier Kupwara district staged violent protests against police and pelted stones on police. Similar violent clashes erupted at Kaloosa and Ajas in Bandipora district. The school students at Watergam in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district also staged protests against police.
The KUSU, which had earlier called for protests in educational institutes, asked the student community to resume class work. This after Government failed to rein in the protesting students across Kashmir valley despite calls for peace. “The protests in solidarity with the students assaulted by forces at Pulwama Degree College were not only exemplary but histroric,” the KUSU added.
Meanwhile, the work in colleges for the fourth consecutive day remained suspended. The Government has already announced suspension of classwork in colleges till April 21 tomorrow. In the meantime, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan today in a statement said that teaching work in all the Higher Secondary Institutions of the Kashmir Division shall remain suspended till April 21 as a “precautionary measure”.