Now Kashmiri students march on Srinagar roads

August 21st, 2008 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 21 (IANS) Protesting students were dispersed with teargas shells here but there was relative quiet in the Kashmir valley Thursday, a day before separatist leaders are scheduled to hold a rally followed by a two-day call for a shutdown over the weekend. Students of various educational institutions, which opened Tuesday after a break of more than 20 days, took to the streets shouting pro-freedom slogans.

Police used teargas shells to disperse a mob of around 100 students near Munawarabad on a road link to the city centre Lal Chowk.

More than 100 students assembled in the college premises seeking permission from college authorities to pay tributes to 22 Kashmiris killed in police and paramilitary firing in the marches and agitation against the “economic blockade” of the valley allegedly forced by some Hindu outfits in Jammu.

The students of Women’s College on the M.A. Road also came out of their classes shouting pro-freedom slogans.

“We had had protests Wednesday but there was thin attendance in the college that forced us to delay the programme,” said Asiya Jaleel, 18, a student.

The state is on the boil following the government order - which was later revoked - of transferring around 40 hectares of forest land to a Hindu temple trust. The rescinding of the order triggered violent protests in Jammu, during which protests on national highway disrupted supply of essential supplies to the Kashmir valley.

Kashmiri leaders - separatist and mainstream - are alleging that outfits from Hindu-dominated Jammu region forced an “economic blockade” against the Muslim Kashmiris, bringing the state to the brink of unprecedented communal divide.

The students of the S.P. College, Islamia College of Science and Commerce, Amar Singh College and Gandhi Memorial College also came out to protest.

Meanwhile, normal life continued peacefully in the valley for the third day Thursday. Separatist leaders were preparing for a rally Friday and have asked people to gather at Eidgah prayer ground in the old city area.

The Hurriyat Conference has announced a shutdown Saturday and Sunday and the separatist conglomerate has called for another huge rally Monday in city centre Lal Chowk near the government secretariat.

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