Angry Students, Simmering Summer

Sana Khan

The unprecedented lava that had taken its space in the hearts and minds of Kashmiri Students has erupted with a bang .Protests carried out throughout the length and breadth of valley bear testimony to this fact.

Like Insha Mushtaq of Sedow Shopian blinded by pellets fired by the government forces emerged as the face of 2016 agitation and represented the state brutality in the similar way Iqra  student of Bcom First Year Nawakadal college  injured seriously in head  has emerged as face of this student movement.

Pertinently the harsh force unleashed on Pulwama Government Degree college students by Government forces on 16 April triggered these protests; as students  were bust with studies and some were killing time in the lawn and the corridor. The calm was turned into the unease when police party entered into the premises of the college.

“We were surprised to see men in uniform entering into the college which was really unexpected and against the rules of the college,” says a student of college Basit.

With the blink of eyes, all the students came out of the classes and started protest against the presence of cops in college. Students believe that police were trying to chase stone pelters in the college.

Protest turned into clashes after security forces used teargas canisters to disperse the protesters to continue the chase. “It was not about the chase, it was about the respect of the college. It was not the place where terrorists are manufactured, it is the college where boys are taught the meaning of life,” Basit says.

It took no time to convert a college into the battle zone; forces were continuously firing the tear gas shells. The cost of the battle was 54 injured students which included scores of female students as well. News was spread across whole Pulwama that trigged more clashes in the area. Some injured were shifted to SMHS hospital; some were treated in the sub district hospital and locally.

“The buildings of the college were not visible for few seconds due to the huge amount of tear gas smoke; all the girls in the college were screaming and were asking for help. Clashes continued for hours,” Basit recalls.

Soon after the end of the clashes Kashmir University Student Union (KUSU), asked all the colleges of valley to hold protest against the use of forces on the college student.

The Monday was marked as the day of rage  by the student of all colleges of the valley. Protests were reported in the most of the colleges across Kashmir. To disperse the student protests forces used water cannons, but the students were not backing a single step.

“We were protesting on the real cause by the forces didn’t allowed us to do so, but we didn’t went back,” a student of women’s college Srinagar said.

The two main college located in the heart of city were turned into war zones- Siri Pratab (SP) College and the Women’s college Srinagar. After the water cannons were empty, forces used tear gas shells to disperse the students in responses they pelted stones.

Government Degree College Islamabad, Baramulla, Beerrwah, Spore Nawakadal, Ghandi college, Amar Singh college, Magam, were also on boil after the protests turned into clashes.

Longest clashes were reported from SP College for five hours, on the same day during the clashes in Baramulla Boys Degree four youths were arrested and few students were injured as well.

Before the end of the clashes mobile internet facility was snatched across the valley and social media was banned.

Authorities ordered to shut the higher secondary, colleges and university for two days, which was extended to the 22 April.After the two days of student agitation mobile internet was restored but with 2g service.