SRINAGAR(HT): An incident of stone pelting by some students outside the K G Polytechnic in the city on Saturday drew a heavy handed response from a group of CRPF troopers who allegedly barged into the college, fired tear gas shells, vandalised vehicles and assaulted faculty members.
Principal of the institution Shaista Shamim said that a senior professor was injured in the alleged assault.
She told Hindustan Times that a CRPF vehicle with about half a dozen troopers entered the campus in the afternoon after a small group of students allegedly threw stones on the forces outside the college.
“Our college was designated as an examination centre today and many students from various polytechnic colleges of the Valley appeared in the exams. After the exams were over at 2 pm, a small group of students had allegedly pelted the CRPF men with stones outside. The CRPF men came rushing into the campus in their vehicle, creating chaos,” Shamim said.
She alleged that the troopers vandalised a number of vehicles of students and faculty members and beat up teachers.
“The CRPF men started ransacking vehicles and fired tear gas shells as soon as they entered campus. We tried to reason with them and told them we will make students understand but they did not listen and started abusing the faculty. One of our faculty members Professor Yamin, who is head of department automobiles, was injured. He was badly beaten. His head was oozing blood and he has been hospitalised,” Shamin said.
The principal said that the CRPF men even tried to assault her as well. “They even tried to catch hold of me. I had a narrow escape,” she said.
Read more: After Pulwama college, clashes between security forces and students in Srinagar
She said that CRPF men stopped after she called police into the campus.
The principal said that after the incident the students went on another spree of stone pelting that triggered more clashes.
“I don’t know what exactly has happened. We are ascertaining which company was there and once we know we will ask them if anything has happened,” CRPF spokesman Bhawnesh Chowdhary told HT later in the evening.
Srinagar senior superintendent of police, Imtiyaz Parray did not respond.
Moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of the Hurriyat Conference condemned the CRPF action. “Student protests do not only stem from political aspirations but also due to continued repressive policies. Such subjugating and depoliticizing the younger generation is destroying their lives and educational career,” he said in a statement.
Saturday’s incident comes just two weeks after security forces allegedly used disproportionate force in a college in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district which has triggered massive student protests across the Kashmir valley.
Student protests this month have become a new challenge for the administration.
Meanwhile, separatists have called for a shutdown on Sunday against the killing of a civilian in forces firing after an encounter in Kupwara in north Kashmir on Thursday.