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SRINAGAR: The student protests over the ghastly gang rape-and-murder of a minor girl in Kathua are refusing to die down despite the government appealing the students to return to their classes. Army resorted to aerial firing to disperse youth at Pinjura in south Kashmir’s Shopian district after their vehicle came under heavy stone pelting. Reports said that youth hurled rocks at the army vehicle in the village. In retaliation, army men fired in the air to chase away the protesters.

 

Eyewitnesses said that gun shots created panic in the area while youth ran for cover. They added that even after aerial shots, youths regrouped themselves and attacked army vehicles. Witnesses added that a large number of students who were protesting against the closure of coaching centres and demanding justice for Kathua girl, assembled in Shopian market. As the students were protesting, a couple of army vehicles passed through the market that were attacked with stones. Army soldiers resorted to aerial firing to disperse them.

 

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Muran village of South Kashmir's Pulwama district after a "Survey" team of army emerged there. Reports said that a couple of army vehicles arrived in the village on Monday morning while local youth hit to roads and pelted stones on them. Locals alleged that the soldiers arrive frequently in the village and harass youth. 'Who has given them the right to do census of the village,' said an elderly man to CNS.

 

A couple of days back the youth of the same village attacked them after they emerged there. Eyewitnesses said that after the injury of a soldier in stone-pelting, army men made announcements warning people of action. They even fired a single shot in air. A student was injured during clashes with the government forces in Anantnag town in south Kashmir. Reports said that the students took to streets in the town and staged a protest.

 

They said that soon clashes erupted in which one student was injured. He suffered multiple pellet injuries in chest and hand. The Kathua rape and murder incident sparked students protest here in Kangan town of Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. Reports said that students of Government Degree College and Boys Higher Secondary School Kangan held a protest at main market Kangan to demand justice for the eight-year-old Kathua girl who was raped and subsequently murdered.

 

The students carried out a march from College campus that culminated peacefully at main market Kangan. Carrying placards and banners the students raised slogans against accused and BJP Minister Lal Singh whom they termed as a ‘parasite’ feeding on ‘rape politics’. Reports said that police lobbed tear-smoke shells to disperse them. A police official said that students were dispersed as they blocked vehicular movement on the roads.  Students protested in Tral, Shopian, Anantang, Kangan, Sopore, Baramulla, Ajas, Malapora Sadarkoot and Hajin area of Bandipora district. At a couple of places, government forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse them.