4 hit by pellets referred to Srinagar; Some schools in Srinagar, Magam, Sopore to remain closed today.
Photo: Kamran Yousuf/GK
At least 18 students were injured when police resorted to baton-charge, teargas shelling and pellet firing to break up student protests in Pattan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district Tuesday, even as students staged protests in Srinagar, Hajin and Pulwama areas against the alleged arrest spree and excesses by forces. Four students, hit by pellets in Pattan and Hajin, were rushed to Srinagar for specialized treatment.
According to the witnesses, students of Government Higher Secondary school Pattan appeared on Srinagar-Muzzafarabad highway this morning and staged a massive pro-freedom demonstration. As the students started marching on the highway, a huge contingent of Police tried to disperse them by
resorting to baton charge, teargas shelling and firing pellets. But the protesters offered stiff resistance and retaliated with stones, triggering clashes. As the pitched-battles were on, the students of Government Degree College Pattan joined the protesters, following which the clashes intensified.
“Posters urging students to stage protest after morning prayers were seen pasted on the walls near the educational institutions in Pattan town on Tuesday. The posters carried the symbol of militant outfit Hizbul-Mujahideen,” witnesses said.
Clashes between students and police disrupted traffic on the busy highway for several hours.
Clashes erupted between students and Police on Tuesday when students of Gandhi Memorial College and MP Higher Secondary School assembled outside the campus at Baba Demb area in old Srinagar.
As the students tried to march towards main road, police swung into action and chased them away. However, the students formed small groups and pelted stones on the policemen, who retaliated with teargas shells and baton charge.
Witnesses said: “Some police personnel present near Baba Demb area arrested a student who was coming out of the college.”
They said as the word about this arrest spread, the clashes intensified, triggering chaos in the area. “Girl students also joined the protest later,” they said.
Outraged at the deployment of Army soldiers near their schools and arrests of youth, students took to the streets in Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Tuesday.
Witnesses said the students of Government Higher Secondary School and Government Middle School Hajin came out of from their campuses and staged a massive pro-freedom demonstration.
Government forces, they said, used tear gas shells to break up the student protests. However, the protesters offered stiff resistance and fought pitched battles with the forces personnel following which shopkeepers downed their shutters. “As the clashes intensified local youth also joined in,” witnesses added.
Students were also demanding the release of youth picked up by the police last night, they said.
A doctor posted at Primary Health Centre Hajin informed that a youth hit by pellets fired by government forces was brought to the hospital for treatment. “The injured youth was referred to JVC Bemina for specialized treatment.”
Following the intense clashes between students and government forces, all the nearby government and private schools were closed and class work was suspended for the day.
A senior police official said Army was deployed in the area as part of the security grid in view of the proposed visit of General officer Commanding (GoC) J S Sandhu to Army Goodwill School located in the area.
Clashes between students and forces personnel erupted in south Kashmir’s Pulwama town on Tuesday as students hit the streets to seek the release of their schoolmates arrested by the Police during the past few days.
Witnesses said the students of Government Degree College (GDC) Pulwama and Boys Higher Secondary School Pulwama staged protests near police station Pulwama.
Students raised pro-freedom slogans and tried to stage a sit-in outside the Police Station but police used force to quell them.
Senior Superintendent of Police Choudhary Muhammad Aslam while talking to Greater Kashmir said: “Although there was no police deployment anywhere in the town, some miscreants pelted stones at the police station. Two students were detained but released after counselling.”
CLASS WORK TO REMAIN SUSPENDED
According to the district administrations of Budgam and Srinagar, the class work in Government Degree College Magam, Boys Higher Secondary School Magam and SP Higher Secondary School Srinagar shall remain suspended on May 17, 2017 (Wednesday) as a precautionary measure.
“Class work in Boys Higher secondary School Sopore would remain suspended on Wednesday 17th May, 2017,” Sub Divisional Magistrate Sopore Sandeep Singh told Greater Kashmir.
(With inputs from Altaf Baba, Ghulam Muhammad, Ejaz Bhat and Showkat Dar)
This article was first published on greaterkashmir.com.