Widespread student protests spark tension in Kashmir Valley


Widespread student protests spark tension in Kashmir Valley

Students' groups had called for protests against the "brutality perpetrated by forces on students" of Degree College Pulwama in south Kashmir, where clashes with security forces left many injured.

Earlier in the day, Indian security forces and students clashed at a college in southern Kashmir's Pulwama town. At least 20 people were injured in the clash, he said.

A civilian was hit by a bullet in the incident, though it was not known whether he was injured in firing by militants or the security forces.

Meanwhile, the Kashmir University Students Union said the attack on Degree College Pulwama by Indian forces on Saturday is another eye opener about the nature of the state apparatus.

Authorities suspended mobile internet and broadband services in the Valley in the afternoon.

Pulwama's Senior Superintendent of Police Rayees Bhat said that students pelted stones on the check-point team thereby triggering clashes between both sides.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan in an order said that all educational institutions from universities, colleges and higher secondary schools shall remain closed on Tuesday.

Some schools, including the Delhi Public School at Srinagar, had declared a holiday on Monday in view of the growing tensions and resentment in the student community against Saturday's incidents in Pulwama.

The police denied that it raided the college.

A statement issued by the police here in the evening said that while at most places the students protested inside their college premises, at few others in Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam they assembled on the roads and indulged in stone pelting thus disrupting the movement of general people and traffic. In the videos, a PDP leader and a trader seek forgiveness and announce disassociation from mainstream politics on gunpoint.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted on the death: "More blood shed and more families in mourning tonight". Police reacted by using force and chased them into the college. Is @MehboobaMufti not alert to situation?

Controversy peaked when a video showing a man tied to an army jeep in Budgam district of central Kashmir on April 9 surfaced when polling was underway for the Srinagar Parliamentary bypoll.

In recent months, the use of pellet guns by Indian forces in Kashmir has drawn widespread criticism as the weapons have caused permanent disabilities among victims.

However, a key political activist from the area said the Pulwama events were outcome of "police misadventure" especially by "young officers" who "in utter disregard of anger on ground" seemingly "wanted to conquer a territory". To handle the stone pelting, reinforcement was rushed to the spot.

The video had evoked strong condemnation from all sections of society.

The other video doing rounds on the web shows four men, dressed in Indian army uniforms brutally beating a defenseless Kashmiri youth with sticks and kicking him all over his body.

"This is not the first human shield case".

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