Article 370: Schools open in Kashmir valley, but students stay away

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Updated: August 20, 2019 12:51:15 AM

All private schools in Srinagar remained shut for the 15th consecutive day as parents were worried about the security situation in view of protests over the past two days. Only the Police Public School at Bemina and a few Kendriya Vidyalayas saw a handful of students turning up.

jammu kashmir, jammu valley, Kashmir, school, india news, article 370, Kendriya VidyalayaThe Centre had announced communications and movement restrictions in the state a day before the Centre revoked the state’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

As schools opened in the Valley for the first time in over a fortnight since Jammu and Kashmir was placed under an unprecedented security cover and restrictions on August 4, teachers reported to work across Kashmir as restrictions were eased Monday, but classrooms stayed empty with most students staying away.

The Centre had announced communications and movement restrictions in the state a day before the Centre revoked the state’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

While most educational institutions in five sensitive border districts of Jammu reopened, too, with “full attendance” as curbs were lifted. Officials said the government has made necessary arrangements to open 190 primary schools in Srinagar city as security forces remained deployed in most of the Valley.

But all private schools in Srinagar remained shut for the 15th consecutive day as parents were worried about the security situation in view of protests over the past two days. Only the Police Public School at Bemina and a few Kendriya Vidyalayas saw a handful of students turning up.

“There is so much uncertainty in the situation that sending kids to school at this stage is out of the question,” said a parent, Farooq Ahmad Dar.

Officials in Baramulla district said schools in five towns remained closed but in the rest of the district, schools were opened. “There is no relaxation in restrictions in Pattan, Palhalan, Singhpora, Baramulla and Sopore towns. Primary schools in the rest of the district are open. We are collecting details about the number of students who have reported at their respective schools,” said an official.

A Srinagar district official said a few schools on the periphery were opened but in the old city and in the civil lines areas, they remained shut. Authorities had planned to open schools up to the primary level and make all government offices functional from Monday.

In Srinagar city, barricades were removed from areas where the situation has remained peaceful since the Centre’s move to bifurcate J&K into two Union Territories. Markets in the Valley were shut while public transport remained off roads. The movement of private vehicles in the city increased after restrictions were eased.

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Meanwhile, in Jammu, officials said educational institutions reopened in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and Chenab Valley districts of Ramban, Doda and parts of Kishtwar and saw “full attendance”.

On August 10, educational institutions in five other districts of the region — Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Udhampur and Reasi — had reopened after authorities announced the lifting of prohibitory orders.

“All educational institutions across the district, both private and government, including degree colleges and higher secondary schools, resumed classes (on Monday),” deputy commissioner, Rajouri, Aijaz Asad, told PTI.

The situation in the district remained peaceful with markets reopening and traffic plying normally, he added. Asad said the prohibitory orders also stand withdrawn as the law and order situation has been normal. Markets have also opened.
In Poonch district, officials said that barring higher secondary schools and colleges, all educational institutions have reopened and people

have resumed their normal activities. “We are officially resuming classwork in all government-run educational institutions from Tuesday. A series of meetings were held with the concerned stakeholders who have extended their support to the district administration in maintaining peace,” said Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, Angrez Singh Rana.

(- With PTI inputs)

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