THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 12 FEBRUARY, 2019
Students Pelt Stones at Kashmiri Passengers, Jammu Tense
SRINAGAR: Tension gripped the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir where a batch of Kashmiri passengers stranded for nearly a week due to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway were attacked by students of a prominent government-run college yesterday.
According to reports, security has been beefed up around Gandhi Memorial Science (GMS) College in Jammu where violence broke out yesterday when students allegedly pelted stones at the Kashmiri passengers who were staging a protest on Canal Road against the government.
Thousands of Kashmir-bound passengers are stuck in the winter capital of J&K on seventh consecutive day due to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway following heavy snow and rain in last week. The closure of the only surface link that connects the landlocked Valley with the rest of the world has also resulted in shortage of essentials in Kashmir.
Witnesses said dozens of passengers, including women and children who were putting up at Auqaf Building in Jammu, were attacked with stones by the students of GMS College after they shouted anti-government and pro-Pakistan slogans.
Video that has gone viral on social media shows the anguished passengers running for their lives while advising others to take cover. A Kashmiri youth tries to retaliate but he is stopped by his fellows who advise him to exercise restraint, the video shows.
The video also shows a Kashmiri woman with a baby in her arms collapsing due to chaos as stone pelting intensifies. According to reports, the student of GMS College took objection to pro-Pakistan slogans shouted by the passengers who were demanding that they be airlifted to Srinagar.
“Even those Kashmiris who have not seen aeroplane in their life want to be airlifted to Jammu. When the government didn’t agree, they wanted to turn Jammu into Kashmir and pelted stones. An eight-year-old girl was wounded. We will not allow it to happen. Whole Jammu will shut down if action is not taken against Kashmiris,” a student of GMS College told media-persons.
“They (Kashmiris) live in India but sing songs of Pakistan. Instead of taking action against them, the police lathicharged us. What kind of administration is this? Both male and female students were assaulted. I want to tell them (Kashmiris) that if they want to live in India, they will have to hear slogans of Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai,” another GMS student said.
A senior police officer said during the clashes, six persons were injured, “Two stranded passengers and four students have been injured. We have registered two cases under FIR No 14/2019 (Sections 147, 148, 336, 427, 124, 341) against those who raised anti-national slogans and indulged in violence and FIR No 15/2019 (under section 336),” SSP Jammu, Tejinder Singh said.