State Vs Students: Violence in Shopian As Students Protest Forces Deployment At Degree College
SRINAGAR: Dozens of students clashed with security forces in south Kashmir on Monday to protest the alleged siege of Shopian Degree College as all educational institutions opened in the Valley after weeks of student protests.
Officials said all the schools and colleges have opened in the Valley after over a month of shutdown and clashes between security personnel and students who hit the streets against the assault on students of Pulwama Degree College last month.
Sources said nearly dozen educational institutions were closed, including the prominent SP School and College in the capital Srinagar, to ensure that the student don't stage protests, which has become a new challenge for the security forces in the Valley.
"We have been counselling students over the last month. In some cases, parents were called to counsel their wards against staging protests. We are confident that normalcy has returned to the campuses," a senior government officer said, wishing anonymity.
Tensions erupted on campuses across the Valley following an alleged raid by security forces on Pulwama Degree College last month. In the ensuing clashes, nearly 50 students, many of them girls, were wounded. In the coming days, thousands of students across the Valley staged protests.
While the schools and colleges have resumed work on Monday, tension is palpable on the campuses, "Students are still angry. Where else do you hear of teargas shells being fired at students on campus. This highhandedness has angered the student community," Zahid Nabi, a student of a prominent school in Srinagar said.
Meanwhile, clashes broke out in Shopian on Monday as dozens of students pelted stones at forces to protest the heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces around the Shopian Degree College.
Witnesses said as pro-freedom and anti-India sloganeering heightened inside the college premises, the protesting students, including girls, came out and pelted stones on the deployment. "Forces retaliated with teargas shells and stun grenades, which created panic," witnesses said.
Yesterday, a constable of the counter-insurgency unit of J&K Police was shot by suspected militants in Shopian following which forces allegedly went on a rampage by beating up pedestrians and damaging private properties, including vehicles parked in the area.
In the capital Srinagar, two CRPF personnel were injured when suspected militants hurled a grenade last evening towards a CRPF bunker in Saraf Kadal area of old city. Although searches were immediately launched in the area, the suspects had managed to escape under the cover of darkness.