Schools, colleges across Kashmir erupt in protests against civilian killings

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Widespread student protests erupted in Kashmir valley on Wednesday against the killings of three civilians in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. As soon as the news of the killings spread, the students from various departments assembled outside the Humanities block of the Kashmir University and staged a protest.

Reports said the students marched towards the administrative block while chanting pro-freedom slogans. A protest was also held at Central University campus Nowgam against the civilian killings. Scores of students assembled in the varsity and raised pro freedom slogans.

The girl students from Women’s College MA Road in Srinagar came out of the college and staged a protest on MA Road. The protesters raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.

ALSO READ: 3 civilians killed in clashes near Kulgam gunfight site, protests erupt in Shopian, Pulwama

An eye witness said students from the college and Kothibagh school assembled on Residency road and raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. The girl students hurled stones on the forces who responded by firing pepper gas shells. A girl student was injured after being hit by a stone during the protest.

The students from Islamia College of Science and Commerce also staged a protest against the Kulgam civilian killings.

Similarly, at Government degree college Handwara the students staged a protest in the college premises which prompted the college authorities to suspend the day’s class work. The students from Government Degree College Sopore held a protest and later clashed with the forces over the killings.

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The college authorities ordered the suspension of class work in the college “as a precautionary measure”. Reports said that students tried to block the road at Iqbal market in the town, however forced chased them away.

Earlier, authorities had ordered the closure of all educational institutions in Kulgam and parts of adjoining Anantnag district in the wake of civilian killings in Khudwani area of Kulgam district. Similar protests were also witnessed in Budgam district of central Kashmir. Class work was suspended at degree college Charar-i-sharief.

Scores of students, including girls, came out of the college premises and staged a protest against the killings.

ALSO READ: Kulgam Gunfight: Helicopter gunships used against trapped militants by Army

The students of Bandipora Degree College and Sumbal Degree College also held protests. Reports said that hundreds of students assembled at the colleges and raised anti-India slogans. They said that funeral prayers in absentia were held for the slain civilians at Sumbal Degree College.

In Baramulla, the students of Degree College clashed with the forces after holding a protest. Reports said that clashes erupted after forces prevented the students from coming out of the college premises

The civilian deaths occur just two days after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met the Prime Minister and Defence Minister of India. In her meeting with Narendra Modi, she had appealed for finding ways to end the bloodshed and alienation in the valley.

During her meeting with Nirmala Sitharaman, Mehbooba had called for a ‘humane approach and avoiding collateral damage during security operations’.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the civilian killings, protests rocked University of Kashmir. Students from various departments assembled outside the Humanities block and staged a protest against the civilian killings.

Clashes have erupted in parts of Pulwama and Shopian districts against the killing of three civilians during an ongoing gunfight in Khudwani area of Kulgam.

Youth pelted stones on government forces deployed in southern areas to express their anger at the killings. Forces responded by firing tear gas shells to disperse the protesting youth. Clashes were going on at the time of filing of this report.

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