Student uprise in Kashmir enters fourth week

6 students detained in Tral, 4 injured in Srinagar

Srinagar: Four students were injured in clashes in Srinagar outskirts while six students were arrested in South Kashmir’s Tral as student protests entered the fourth week on Monday.
Clashes erupted in Zainakote area in the city outskirts after students of a local government higher secondary school blocked the Srinagar-Baramulla highway in the morning. During the clashes, an army convoy passing on the highway fired warning shots in the air to disperse the demonstration.

As clashes ensued in the area, police and paramilitary forces resorted to tear-gas shelling amid heavy stone-pelting, resulting in injuries to four students. The students also raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. A police officer posted in the area was also injured amid the tear-gas shelling. Traffic on the highway remained disrupted as long as the protests continued.
Similar student demonstrations ensued in other areas of Kashmir in view of the continuing protests against the assault on students of government degree college, Pulwama, on April 15. Students held demonstrations in Newa and Tral areas of Pulwama, Aripanthan in Budgam and Qalamabad in Langate.
Six students were arrested amid hour-long clashes in the Tral area of South Kashmir, sources said.
Eye-witnesses told that students of a local higher secondary school and a government degree college in Tral held a protest and attacked army vehicles with stones near the local general bus stand earlier in the morning, triggering clashes, following which the arrests were made.
As the clashes erupted, witnesses said, shopkeepers downed shutters in the entire Tral town, while both public and private transport were also disrupted.
A police officer confirmed the arrest of six students.
“We exercised restraint while dealing with stone-throwing youth and did not use any tear-smoke shells. We caught six students on the spot while they were pelting stones,” a police officer said. Late evening, SDPO Tral Shazad Matoo said all the six students have been released.
The incidents of stone-pelting by students were also reported from Newa area of Pulwama where scores of students marched out of the school campus and held protests against the detention of some of their schoolmates a few days ago.
The protesting students were intercepted by government forces, resulting in clashes.
The forces resorted to tear-gas shells to disperse the protesting students, leading to a shutdown in the area.
Clashes between students and government forces were also reported from north Kashmir’s Handwara area as students of government higher secondary school, Langate, took to the streets and staged a demonstration protesting the use of force against students across the Kashmir Valley.
The students chanted pro-freedom slogans and attempted to block the Baramulla-Kupwara highway. However, the police dispersed them.
The students of several other schools, including the students of government higher secondary school, Muqam, also staged demonstrations in Naghama area of Handwara and blocked the road for some time.
The students clashed with government forces and hurled stones while police and army used baton charges and tear-smoke shells to chase them away. According to witnesses, panic gripped the Super Naghama village after locals witnessed army movement in the area. The incidents resulted in a shutdown in the area.
The district administration had earlier on Sunday ordered the suspension of class work at four educational institutions, including at degree college, Handwara, and degree college, Kupwara, for today.

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