The death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani has initiated a long phase of violence and insecurity in the Kashmir Valley. It is now students who have taken to pelting stones on the police and soldiers.
The student protests were sparked when security forces entered the premises of the Government Degree College, Pulwama, in South Kashmir — a hotbed of militancy — despite the principal appealing to them not to. The students began an agitation that soon spread to other educational institutions.
Pictures and videos of girls taking to the streets and throwing stones went viral on social media, becoming an embarrassment for the state government which was claiming the situation had normalised. In this picture, you can see students from a women’s college in Srinagar fearlessly throwing stones at the police.
Men students don’t just pelt stones but vandalize police vans as well. In the past year or so, at least 100 young men have joined the ranks of the militants in the Kashmir Valley, after the death of Wani. Most of them are from the South Kashmir districts of Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama. “The worrying trend is that educated youth, some of them professionals, have taken up militancy since July last year,” said a police official.
Teachers say that the state government has not come up with a plan to deal with the protesting students. The obvious thing to do was to counsel them. They said that the Department of School Education should have called the parents of the students and informed them about the misdeeds of their wards. The lack of accountability at home is the basic reason for some students resorting to stone pelting, according to some teachers.