SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehboba Mufti on Tuesday advised youth to focus on studies instead of coming out on roads and indulging in stone pelting even as protests, clashes and shutdown continued in Kashmir for 53 day curfew lifted from all parts of Valley except two police station areas in Srinagar.
“Children should focus on their studies. They should be in schools and colleges to pursue their careers instead of coming on streets. They should not come on streets and pelt stones,” Mehbooba said while addressing a function in Jammu, winter capital of J&K, today.
She said the rightful place for the children is in the educational institutions like IITs, IIMs, engineering, medical, dental colleges and not on the streets.
Asserting that in all religions, education is considered most important, Mehbooba said, “We should seek education as a religious duty to realize the higher goals of life. Our children look good with books in their hands in the classrooms studying to be doctors, engineers and architects of our future rather than being on the streets”.
She said children must to go to schools and pursue their studies as they have to become doctors, engineers, dental surgeons, teachers, professors.
“But if the youth continue to pelt stones in protest rallies and act as cannon fodder for the vested interests, then we would not have doctors, engineers, and teachers in future,” added Mehbooba.
Earlier, in the day police had lifted curfew from Pulwama town in South Kashmir.
A police official said following improvement in situation, the curfew was lifted from Pulwama town after 52 days today.
He said the curfew remained in force in only two police stations areas in downtown Srinagar.
The curfew was lifted yesterday from most parts of the Valley after remaining in force for 51 days.
Greater movement of private vehicles was seen in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley today.
However, public transport was off the roads and shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions remained closed in response to the strike called by the separatists.
The separatists have extended the strike upto September 1.
Kashmir was under curfew, restrictions and shutdown since July 9, when the unrest broke out in the Valley following killing of 21-year-old Hizbul commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
At least 70 people including two policemen have been killed and thousands others injured in the ongoing cycle of violence in the Valley.
Despite lifting of curfew and restrictions, there was not let up in protests and clashes in the Valley.
People staged protests rallies in many parts of the Valley while youth clashed with security personnel at Batamaloo, Baghi Mehtab, Natipora, Rainawari and some other parts in Srinagar.
The clashes between the youth and security personnel were also reported from Chankipora and Main Chowk, Sopore in North Kashmir, Kaloosa in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district and Mehmoodabad in Dooru in South Kashmir.
The security personnel fired pellets, tear gas shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse the stone pelting youth.
At least 100 people including some women were injured in the clashes. An elderly woman was hit by pellets in head and chest in south Kashmir.
The mobile internet and outgoing facility on prepaid mobile services remained suspended in the Valley for 53rd consecutive day today. The services were snapped after outbreak of unrest on July 9.
A police spokesman said barring few minor stone pelting incidents, the overall situation in Kashmir remained peaceful and under control.