The Centre on Monday expressed happiness over the reopening of most educational institutes in Jammu and Kashmir disregarding a boycott call and appealed to all sections of people, especially parents, to cooperate with the government in their smooth functioning.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram said there was a call by one of the Hurriyat leaders to the parents asking them not to send their children to schools and colleges but it was heartening that parents have disregarded that call and sent their children to their respective institutes.

“There were a few minor incidents of stone-pelting on school buses at Habak, Bemina and Nowgam. How can any right thinking person pelt stones on school buses? I hope that such mischief will stop immediately.” Mr. Chidambaram said.

“Anyone who has the interest of the children at heart cannot indulge in stone-pelting; nor should anyone support such mischievous attempts to interfere with the functioning of schools and colleges,” he said in a statement.

The Home Minister said the government was happy to learn that most of the schools and colleges have reopened in Jammu and Kashmir and most of the students have gone back to schools and colleges today.

“I am confident that the few schools and colleges that remain closed today, presumably out of caution, will reopen tomorrow. I am also confident that the attendance will improve significantly tomorrow. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has assured us that every effort is being made to ensure that all schools and colleges reopen and function normally and that security will be provided to enable the students to attend schools and colleges.” he added.

“I appeal to all sections of the people of Jammu and Kashmir especially parents, to cooperate with the State Government and ensure that all schools and colleges function normally,” he said.

Educational institutions reopened today after the Centre announced an 8-point initiative, which includes smooth functioning of schools and colleges, to bring peace to the Kashmir valley.

Curfew relaxed

Barring Srinagar city and three towns in north Kashmir, curfew was lifted from the entire Valley on Monday.

Curfew is in force only in Srinagar city, Sopore town in Baramulla district and Kupwara district town and adjoining Kralopora town, a police spokesman said.

He said curfew has been lifted from all the other areas of the Valley.

The spokesman, however, said restrictions under Section 144 CrPC, which prohibits, assembly of four or more persons at any public place, were in force at some places.

Although Kashmir witnessed a peaceful day yesterday, stone pelting incidents were reported from several parts today.

A group of youth had blocked the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway near Samboora in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, official sources said.

They said the security forces chased away the mob, which resorted to stone pelting. The law enforcing agencies fired in the air to bring the situation under control.

The sources said no one was injured in the incident but one person was detained for questioning.

Stone pelting incidents were also reported from Rawalpora, Nowgam and Batamaloo areas of the city, the sources added.