Government seems to be running out of ideas to contain the anger among students in Kashmir as there is no let up in the protests.
Students of SP College Srinagar on Monday staged protests against the arrest of students by police over past weeks. They were shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans inside the premises.
As soon as the protests erupted, police reached the spot and tried to pacify the students. Witnesses said the students tried to march towards the MA Road, however the police resorted to tear gas shelling to prevent the protesting students from marching into the streets, triggering clashes.
Amid tear gas shelling, police pushed the protesting students inside the premises and students fought pitched battles inside the premises of the college.
“After pushing students inside, the police closed the gate near MA Road to avoid any chaos on the road. Clashes lasted for many hours inside the premises which affected the class work in the college,” eyewitnesses said.
The staff in the college said they had to inhale smoke emanating from tear gas shells which were lobbed by police inside the campus. “Police lobbed tear gas shells on protesting students which landed inside the premises and caused breathing problems,” the staff members said.
The clashes erupted at a time when a NAAC team was on its two day visit to SP College to re-accredit the institution. NAAC is an autonomous body established in 1994 by the UGC for assessment of quality and accredits the Higher Education Institutions. “The NAAC team continued their inspection on first day today amid clashes. Police didn’t enter inside the campus and there was no disturbance in the inspection,” an official at SP College said.
Witnesses said the students fought pitched battles with police till late afternoon in the college. During the clashes, Station House Officer (SHO) Kralkhud Police station was hit by a stone in his head and he was hospitalized. A few other cops sustained minor injuries during the clashes. Two media persons covering the clashes also sustained injuries after being hit by stones.
No student was arrested during the clashes despite several attempts made by police to catch hold of the students hurling stones.
Later, students from SP College entered Government Women’s College MA Road and engaged police in stone pelting for some time.
Chaos prevailed in Regal Chowk during the clashes and shopkeepers downed their shutters. However, situation returned to normal after some time.
The district administration Srinagar has decided to suspend class work in SP Higher Secondary School (HSS) Srinagar on Tuesday. “There will be no class work at SP School tomorrow,” Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Lone said.
Students Hit Streets In Magam
Intense clashes erupted between students and government forces in Magam town of central Kashmir’s Budgam district triggering shutdown in the town on Monday.
Students of Government Higher Secondary School Magam staged a protest inside the school premises in which pro-freedom slogans were raised. They were joined by Degree College students. Forces used tear gas shells to disperse the protesting students after they tried to march into the streets, triggering clashes.
Following the clashes, shopkeepers downed their shutters while traffic movement was affected on Srinagar-Gulmarg highway.
Hospital sources said that a cop and two students sustained injuries during the clashes.
District administration Budgam has decided to suspend class work at Government Degree College (GDC) Magam and Boys Higher Secondary School (HSS) Magam on Tuesday.