A struggle for control in the Valley

Separatists relaxed the shutdown in the afternoon, but govt. imposed curfew on the entire Valley.

July 22, 2016 02:59 am | Updated 12:45 pm IST - SRINAGAR:

With the turmoil entering the 13th day on Thursday, the Kashmir Valley witnessed a direct tug of war between separatists and the authorities.

As the separatists relaxed the shutdown call in the afternoon, asking “people to stock essentials”, the government imposed curfew on the entire Valley.

“It is collective punishment of people for supporting the movement. This anti-people regime has touched the new height as the police asked local volunteers in a hospital to stop their activities,” said a statement issued by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik. The government is making desperate attempts to stop the cycle of violence and counter the separatists’ shutdown calendars, which is evoking significant support from the people for the past two weeks.

The authorities have decided to reopen schools in a few districts in the Valley under curfew. Schools in the districts of Baramulla, Bandipora, Budgam and Ganderbal were asked to reopen on Thursday.

“In rural areas, where the staff is mostly local, the schools witnessed moderate attendance, while in semi-urban centres, restrictions resulted in thin attendance,” said Shaleen Kabra, Commission Secretary, Education Department.

However, parents are upset at the decision to put children’s lives on the line. “Violence has consumed all districts of the Valley and curfew is still in force. Pushing students to attend the schools may have dangerous consequences,” said Ajaz Ahmad, a parent. The move comes as separatists issued elaborate protest calendars wherein nocturnal protests, blackouts and daylong shutdowns are being organised.

Meanwhile, Kashmir University has postponed examinations till further orders. Islamic University of Science and Technology has extended admission processes up to July 29. All district headquarters have set up special cells for aspirants of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Examination (NEET) to download admission slips as the Internet services remain suspended.

The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Examination (NEET) is scheduled for July 24.

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