Day 66: Colleges Reopen In Kashmir But Students Stay Away

Day 66: Colleges Reopen In Kashmir But Students Stay Away

SRINAGAR – The efforts of the Jammu and Kashmir administration to reopen colleges in the Valley on Wednesday failed as students did not turn up for their classes.

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The Kashmir valley has been witnessing continuous shutdown since August 5 when the Centre revoked the state’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan had last week announced that the schools would reopen on October 3 and the colleges on October 9 in the valley.

The staff reported for work at the colleges but the students stayed away, officials said.

Students also have not attended schools despite the administration’s several attempts.

The parents are reluctant to send their children to schools or colleges as they fear for their safety amid the shutdown and communication blackout in most parts of the valley.

On Wednesday, the 66th day shutdown, normal life continued to remain disrupted across Kashmir.

Public transport, including State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses, also remained off the roads on Wednesday. But, private vehicles were plying on most of the routes in the city and outskirts while a number of cabs were also seen operating on some district routes in the morning.

A few vendors had set up stalls on the TRC Chowk-Lal Chowk road here, they added.

The officials said there were no restrictions anywhere in the valley, but security forces were deployed in strength in vulnerable areas to maintain law and order.

While landline telephone services were restored across the valley gradually, mobile services remained suspended in Kashmir since the night of 4 August, the officials said.

On August 5, the Centre had revoked the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

Internet services — across all platforms also continued to be snapped in the valley, they said.

Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders, including two former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

Another former chief minister and Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah has been arrested under the controversial Public Safety Act, a law enacted by his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.  (With inputs From PTI)

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