Kashmir University shut after clashes

Kashmir University closed after massive protests against alleged failure of administration to secure release of arrested student

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Police in the Indian-held Kashmir on Thursday clashed with the students of Kashmir University and used aerial fire to disperse a student protest.

The students were protesting against the arrest of an activist student, which led the university to stay closed for two days and against authorities who asked the students to vacate the hostels.

Tension has increased in the oldest university in India-held Kashmir, in the capital Srinagar since Monday when Master's student Muzamil Farooq was arrested by Indian police.

Students say Farooq was arrested for leading protests against the International Yoga events organised in Kashmir and around India. Students say the events were a "political and cultural imposition on the Muslim by the right-wing Hindutva government in India.’’

The Indian police say he is being investigated for allegedly linking with pro-Independence militant outfits.

There have been protests at the university since Tuesday.

On Thursday, over 1,000 students gathered near the Vice Chancellor’s office demanding release of Farooq.

Dr Naseer Iqbal, the Chief Proctor of the Kashmir University told Anadolu Agency: “The police are saying that they are investigating his [Farooq] case but the students are angry at the arrest.”

”Today there was a massive protest where they shouted all anti-India slogans and which later turned violent,” added Iqbal.

“In view of that we have suspended classwork on Saturday and Sunday and have also ordered the students putting up at the hostels to vacate the campus.”

However, the students claimed that the clashes erupted only after police stormed the university from all sides and attacked the students.

Sameer Yaqoob, a student at the university told Anadolu Agency: “The police opened aerial fire and used teargas shells on the protesting students. They beat us up, which further angered all of us and then the clashes started.”

The university authorities have banned all kind of political activities at the campus.

The Indian governor in Kashmir performs a supervisory role in the state and heads the university serving as its chancellor while the elected Jammu & Kashmir state chief minister is his deputy.

A part of Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A part of it is also held by China.

The relations between India, Pakistan and China have developed through the border problems as of the partition of British India in 1947 as well as China’s invasion of Tibet to suppress the Tibetan uprising against the Communist rule in 1959.

Since the 1962, Sino-Indian War erupted due to the Tibet problem, China has become Pakistan’s cordial ally, a relation was once labeled as “time-tested friendship” by both Chinese and Pakistani leadership.

China has long been backing Pakistan against India since then at the UN Security Council by using its veto power derived from its permanent membership status.

Kashmiri resistance groups in Indian-held Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighbouring Pakistan since 1989. India deploys over half a million soldiers to the Indian-held Kashmir.

TRTWorld and agencies