Coaching classes in Valley shut

College principals say police disrupt peaceful protests

Govt will close schools permanently if students don't return to classes: J&K minister

Education minister Altaf Bukhari said the decision had been taken "to remove distractions in and around schools and to put in place a regulatory mechanism for improving the academic environment".

Asked about an earlier decision of the government to take the decision on closing and reopening of colleges and schools was left to the divisional and district authorities, he said: "We need do it as a team".

The 8-year-old girl hailing from Rasana village of Kathua had gone missing while grazing ponies near her home on January 10.

The education minister had warned the students on Saturday that if they continued the protests, the government would close all educational institutions in the Valley.

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While tuition centres coaching students for professional examinations have been exempted from the order, classes in most colleges and higher-secondary schools in the valley have been suspended since April 2. "If you take to streets you will be treated as rowdies".

Principals complained police that were using indiscriminate force on peaceful student protests.

Sunday's order covers only centres that offer private tuitions till Class XII. "We have decided that these centres would remain closed for the next 90 days", said Bukhari. We do not know which centres are to be shut.

However, in Anantnag, Shopian, Bandipora and Sopore, police and para-military forces, fired pellets and tear smoke canisters at protesting students, during which several students including females were injured and police made few arrests as well. "Who will convey him that students here completely rely on coaching centres for completion of syllabi throughout the academic session?"

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In a video that has recently gone viral on social media, a group of visibly enraged students can be seen encircling a police officer in Jammu and Kashmir, staring him down while holding up a poster that reads: "Justice for Kathua victim".

The protest over any issue in Kashmir, another police official said are always vulnerable and have potential to transform into a major law and order issue.

"To deal with student protests and stone pelting incidents after any untoward incident involving civilians, the government must think up a strategy other than shutting down educational institutions and coaching centres, which is tantamount to a willful denial of education to the traumatised children of Kashmir", Naikoo wrote.

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