Srinagar: Protests broke out in Pulwama town Tuesday after students of Government Boys Higher Secondary School took to streets demanding release of their schoolmates detained by the police.
Witnesses said that hundreds of students come out of the school and protested at Rajpora Chowk in the town, raining slogans for the release of their schoolmates.
The agitated students took out a protest rally from their school and sat at the Rajpora Chowk for half an hour, which blocked traffic and vehicular movement in the town. Witnesses said that a motorcycle was burnt to ashes during the protests.
“Police has raided our school few days ago and detained around 12 boys. We are demanding the police t o release them and stop harassing us,” protesting student said, but did not want to be named for fear of reprisals.
Police and paramilitary forces swung into action to disperse the agitating students. Witnesses said that police fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters who pelted stones, triggering clashes.
The movement of traffic came to a halt and most of the shops were shut after the protests.
The town has been in worse situation since April 15 after Government Degree College students protested against the entry of an army vehicle into the college campus. Shutdowns, protests and arrest of protesters has become a new order in the town, with the traders lamenting their business has been hit.
Superintendent of Police, Pulwama, Muhammad Aslam, told KNS that the police has not detained any student from the school. The SP denied that police has raided the school to detain students.
“We have detained miscreants and trouble makers from nearby localities of the town who instigate these students for protests,” he said.
Over the detention of students, the police officer said that “whenever we detain students we counsel them and call their parents”.
“Counseling students is a continuous process. We are in touch with the school administration to appeal and counsel the students about the importance of education, and negative impact of disturbing the academics,” he said, adding, that the police has been “showing maximum restraint” while dealing with students during protests.
He said that the motorcycle of a policeman, who was going home, was burnt by the protests.
Meanwhile, seven youths were arrested by police during nigh raids in Prichoo and Malikpora localities of the Pulwama.
Residents said that police and paramilitary forces raided these localities and arrested seven youth. A police official said that the youth have been arrested for “stone pelting and disturbing the peace in the areas”.
Meanwhile, scores of students in University of Kashmir protested against the incarceration of a student of MERC, Tahir Hussain Mir, a resident of Bandipora district, who is jailed under Public Safety Act (PSA).
The protesting students were demanding the Vice Chancellor to take up the issue with the government for his early release. Tahir was arrested by police and slapped him with PSA. (KNS)
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