Cops among dozens injured in clashes

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Apr 26: Undeterred by Government’s harsh stand, the students are refusing to return to their classes and for the second week today they held protests in many areas of Kashmir against the recent police action against their counterparts during which dozens of students and cops sustained injuries.
Protest erupted at Pulwama in South Kashmir, minutes after classwork resumed in Government Degree College Pulwama. The students boycotted their classes and assembled on their campus ground, shouting slogans against the Government and police. The students demanded stringent action against the cops allegedly involved in assaulting them on April 15.
After protesting inside the College, the students then marched towards Main Town and as soon as they reached near local police station, they resorted to heavy stone-pelting on police. The police retaliated by lobbing tear and pepper gas shells, ensuing clashes between two sides. These clashes spread to other markets of the town, prompting shopkeepers to down their shutters. Three boys sustained injuries in these clashes but they were out of danger.
The students at Shopian Boys Higher Secondary Schools also boycotted their classes and staged violent protests in morning hours. Witnesses said the students of the school pelted stones on police after which the cops responded by using teargas shells. The clashes between the two sides continued for several hours. At least 12 students and two policemen sustain minor injuries. A journalist working with a national news television was also hurt.
The other South Kashmir areas including Kulgam district and Bijbehara town of Anantnag district also witnessed protests by student community. Witnesses said scores of students of Kulgam Degree College held protests against assault on their counterparts and boycotted their classes. Later they were dispersed peacefully by police. However, the students of Degree College Bijbehara clashed with police for several hours. No report of injury was received.
Over two dozen policemen and students were injured during day-long intense clashes in Main Town of Ganderbal district in central Kashmir. Witnesses said the students of Ganderbal Degree College boycotted their classes and started a protest march from their campus towards Qamria Chowk. The students were shouting slogans against Government and police and at the same time, they resorted to heavy stone-pelting on cops at Qamria Chowk, ensuing clashes between the two sides.
The witnesses said that during intense clashes, police lobbed dozens of teargas shells in order to restore the order but the adamant students’ pelted stones with rocks and bricks. At least 16 policemen and 12 students were injured in these clashes. Police also detained nine students during clashes and lodged them in local police station. Due to violence, the business activities in Ganderbal town remained suspended.
The situation in Srinagar was largely peaceful but three prime schools in city centre were shut while dozens of security forces’ personnel deployed around colleges here to prevent outbreak of protests. However protests and clashes broke out on city outskirts at Soura and Shalimar areas between students and policemen. No one was however injured in these clashes.
In Chadoora town of Budgam district, the students also staged protests and pelted stones on police. The violent protests by students triggered shutdown in the area. Similar student protests broke out in Kaloosa area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir. The students also clashed with police and as a result the business activities in the area were affected.
The current phase of protests broke out on April 17 when thousands of students across Kashmir took to streets and staged unprecedented protests against assault on their counterparts at Pulwama. Despite calls for calm and resuming classwork, the students are continuing their protests since last week Monday. The Government also gagged internet and social media but these protests are refusing to die down.
Meanwhile, the classwork in Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Recruitment Board (SSRB) designated exam centres in all government schools of Valley shall remain suspended today, officials said.


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