Srinagar: Protests by students in Kashmir refuse to die down even though the colleges and a few higher secondary schools in the Valley remained shut for the third consecutive day on Thursday.
The Kashmir University Students’ Union (KUSU) which spearheaded the protests has, meanwhile, asked the student community to resume classes after "a successful display of resistance, unity and valour".
However, the government has announced that the teaching work in all higher secondary institutions of the Valley will remain suspended till April 21 "as a precautionary measure."
An alliance of separatist leaders has asked people to hold peaceful protests across Kashmir for one hour after Friday prayers (on April 21).
During fresh student protests, Khushboo Jan of Srinagar's government-run higher secondary school, Nawa Kadal, was seriously injured on Thursday.
While the students alleged that she was targeted by the security forces in their attempt to disperse the protest, a police spokesman here said that she was hit on her forehead during stone-pelting by "miscreants".
The protests inflamed by the alleged police atrocities on the students of a degree college in southern Pulwama town in the last weekend have, so far, left more than 150 students and over a couple of dozen security personnel injured.
Following the protests and clashes which broke out on Monday in almost every nook and corner of the Valley, the authorities had ordered closure of all high, higher secondary schools, colleges and universities in the Valley.
On Thursday, fresh protests and clashes between irate groups of students and the security forces were reported from Ganderbal, Bandipore and Baramulla districts.
In some places, the security forces fired teargas canisters and swung bamboo sticks in order to contain protests.
At Kaloosa in Bandipore, the protesting students hurled rocks on passing vehicles leaving a woman injured, the police said.
The official said that while colleges remained closed in the Valley on the third day running "as a precautionary measure", the high and higher secondary schools were open and that the Kashmir University (KU) and Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) conducted all examinations as per schedule.
However, reports said that the class work at both the universities and a few higher secondary schools remained suspended.
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, who has appealed for calm had on Wednesday evening, visited one of the injured students at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital.
The Chief Minister asked the hospital administration to provide all possible treatment to Iqra, a B.Com 1st year student of Srinagar’s Nawa Kadal Government Women’s College, who was injured during the student protests on Monday.
"Wishing her a speedy recovery, Mufti also announced that the government will take the responsibility of educational needs of Iqra and her future job prospects," an official spokesman here said.
The Chief Minister appealed to the people to help restore peace and normalcy in the Valley to ensure smooth academic, economic and tourism activities.
She said, "Kashmir already witnessed tragic human, educational and economic loss and it can’t afford be pushed into perpetual disempowerment and darkness".
However, as the ire over the Pulwama incidents, in which over fifty male and female students were injured on April 15 continues, Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU), proscribed by the then government in 2009, has called upon the student community to resume their classes, after what it said a successful display of resistance, unity and valour.
"The protests in solidarity with the students assaulted by occupational forces at Pulwama Degree College was not only exemplary but a historic message put across the globe. The struggle of right to self-determination is deep rooted in the conscience of every man, woman and youth of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said in a statement here on Thursday.
The statement added, "It should be kept in mind that while resuming class work, the students should make resistance against Indian occupation a way of life and raise voice against the oppression whenever needed or necessary".
It alleged that the treachery of the oppressive state mechanism has already begun its co-optive measures to subvert our just struggle for freedom from forcible occupation of India, by creating various youth and students organisations linked directly to pro-India political parties, or in the form of shadowy extensions, with full support and patronage from occupational machinery.
It sought to caution the student community, saying they should be vigilant and wary of such "divisive attempts" by the state so that they "do not let lose their deceitfulness over the campus activities".
It further said, "The KUSU also cautions students to be wary against any attempts of fund-raising in the name of students injured since Monday"....