Colleges reopen, students stay away

Srinagar, Oct 9: Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to reopen colleges proved a nonstarter as students preferred to stay home on Wednesday.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan had last week announced that the schools would reopen on October 3 and the colleges on October 9 in Kashmir.

 

The staff reported for work at the colleges but the students stayed away, officials said.

Inside the premises of Government Women’s College MA road, a girl in casuals had turned up to receive assignments.

“I came to college not to attend class but to collect study material for my exams,” said Irtiqa Maqbool, one of the college students.

Irtiqa was accompanied by her father, who was waiting outside, since there was no public transport available.

“Few students come to the college to receive study material for exams. There was no class work in the college,” said head of one of the departments, preferring anonymity. 

Similarly, Sri Pratap College wore a deserted look with students missing in action. An official of the college said that out of 2000 students only five or six showed up today.

Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Secretary Higher Education, TalatPervaizRohella said that he has no update about the status of the attendance. “Communication blockade and unavailability of public transport might be the reason for poor attendance in the colleges,” he said.

Meanwhile, normal life continued to remain disrupted across Kashmir on Wednesday as well.

In the city, public transport remained off the roads but a massive traffic jam could be seen at the Jehangir Chowk crossing as private vehicles swarmed the commercial hub of Lal Chowk and surrounding areas.

Shopkeepers open their shops early in the morning till around 11 am and then down the shutters.

The shutdown has come as boon for the roadside vendors, who have been regularly setting up their stalls along the Residency Road and around the Polo View area of the city, witnessing a brisk footfall of customers.

While landline telephony services have been restored across the valley, mobile telephone services in most parts of Kashmir and all internet services continue to remain suspended since 5 August.

Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

Another former chief minister and Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah has been arrested under the controversial Public Safety act, a law enacted by his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.

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