Amid recurring incidents of clashes in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir police today said it does not want any confrontation with the students and was trying to counsel them as they are being instigated. “Our endeavour is to not have a confrontation of the students with the police. That is why you have seen that we have exercised maximum restraint in all such incidents (of student protests),” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) S J M Gillani told reporters here.
“We did not take action near any of the colleges, but we will take a legal action wherever law and order is disrupted,” he said. “Our attempt is to counsel maximum students and their parents so that their career is not affected,” he added.
A police raid on government degree college in Pulwama on April 15 had triggered protests by students in various other parts of Kashmir which continue to take place intermittently. Gillani said the student protests were under control to a large extent.
“Except (for) stone-pelting at one or two places, the normal work in schools and colleges is going on. There is normal attendance in 95 per cent colleges and schools and day-to-day work in these institutes is going on,” he said. The IGP said the investigations into the stone-pelting in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district incident on May 6 has “revealed” that some students were being instigated by outside elements and a few were paid money or lured by other things to disrupt normal activities in the educational institutions.
“When we probed this case, it came to the fore, as you also know, that attempts are being made to disrupt normal activities in colleges and schools at new places. So, we came to know that some students are being instigated by outside elements,” he added.
“We have arrested some people and it has come to the fore that some students are being paid money or lured by other things in order to disrupt normal activities in schools,” he said. At the same time, he said he was not generalizing that students were being paid everywhere.
“When I said that students were paid, it is specific to an incident that happened in Handwara. Other than that, I am not talking about wherever there is a law and order issue, the students were paid,” the police officer said. “But in addition to finding out that people were paid to indulge in a law and order situation, there is also a fact that there are people who are instigating them.
It may not be for money but there are people who are instigating them to indulge in such incidents,” he said.
He appealed to the parents to counsel their wards so that they do not indulge in disruption of normal academic activities. At many levels, the district administration is counseling such students and “we hope that in the coming days, normal academic activities in every college and every school will commence,” he said.
The IGP said there have been 28 incidents of students indulging in lawlessness where cases have been registered.
“As of now, we are only counselling the students and their parents so that they do not indulge in such activities,” he said. Asked about action in the Pulwama incident, the police officer said the government has already ordered an inquiry.
“Once the report comes, we will take whatever action is required,” he added. On weapon-snatching incidents, Gillani said militants have taken away 40 weapons from police personnel in the last year. This excludes the attack on police station in Damhal- Hanjipira in Kulgam district during last year’s unrest because that happened during a law and order situation, he said. “Some of those have also been recovered,” he said.