Kashmir colleges open, students stay away
In Srinagar, security forces were stationed outside the prestigious Sri Pratap College and were allowing students on the campus after checking their identity cards.Updated: Oct 10, 2019 04:16 IST
Higher educational institutes opened in Kashmir on Wednesday over two months after they were closed when the Centre moved to revoke Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)’s special status and split the state into two Union territories in August. Officials said that students mostly stayed away from classes amid continued uncertainty in the Valley.
In Srinagar, security forces were stationed outside the prestigious Sri Pratap College and were allowing students on the campus after checking their identity cards. “I came here to get the study material and not to attend the classes. The teachers told us that the classes can only start once the situation becomes normal,” said a chemistry student, who did not wish to be named.
Restrictions imposed to prevent protests against the change in J&K’s constitutional status have been eased across Kashmir. But a shutdown against the government’s move continues while mobile and internet services remain largely blocked.
The gates of the Women’s College on Srinagar’s Maulana Azad Road remained locked from inside and only students accompanying their parents were allowed on the campus. “We got some study material in our pen drives which has been prepared by our teachers. Even though classes have been suspended for the past 66 days, we were told that exams will be held. We are going to prepare for our examinations,” said a student, who too, did not wish to be named.
A professor said that the Kashmir University staff has returned to work but students have mostly stayed away. “Even though there was an increase in the deployment of security forces around the university today [Wednesday] but the students again stayed away,” he said on condition of anonymity.
The government last month announced the reopening of schools. But parents have largely refrained from sending their kids to school given the shutdown.
Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) Baseer Khan on October 1 directed all colleges and universities in Kashmir to open by October 9.
Officials said restrictions have been removed from most parts in Kashmir and attendance in the schools has improved.