Thrashing of driver triggers students’ protests in Harnag

ESS AHMAD. Dated: 9/15/2017 12:26:27 AM

Army denies thrashing of school bus driver

ANANTNAG, Sep 14: The thrashing of driver of a school bus allegedly by the army men Thursday triggered massive protests by the students and the school staff. Army in order to disperse the protesters resorted to aerial firing. A student was also injured during the protests.
Protests, witnesses said, erupted after the army men deployed outside Shamford Futuristic School brutally thrashed the driver of the school bus after hitting his vehicle. "There was altercation between the army men and the school bus driver when he was returning from the petrol pump. Following the verbal duel between the two, the army men ruthlessly thrashed him," local sources told Kashmir Times.
The injured driver identified as Nazir Ahmad was taken to hospital where from he was discharged after the treatment.
As soon as some locals who saw the driver being beaten and falling on ground went inside the school and informed the school authorities, both students and staff members came out of the school premises and held protests. The protesting students, witnesses said, blocked the Srinagar-Jammu national highway while the drivers of other buses of the school halted their vehicles on the road near Harnag disrupting the traffic movement on the highway for some time. Local sources said that some locals also joined the protesting students and staff. The army men, they said, to disperse the protesters resorted to aerial firing. Witnesses alleged that the Para-military men also lobbed tearsmoke shells to disperse the protesters. A 10th class student identified as Sheezan received injuries in his head. He was evacuated to district hospital Anantnag where he received seven stitches in his head. Though some reports suggested that he was hit by a teargas shell, other reports said that he was injured after being hit by the glass.
Witnesses said that the top police officials later reached the spot and brought the situation under control by pacifying the protesters.
Principal of the school, Gulzar Ahmad told Kashmir Times that the two army men who were on duty outside their school thrashed his driver for no reason.
"My driver had gone to petrol pump. As he was returning the army men caught and thrashed him. It were some locals who informed us that our driver was lying in ground outside. As we moved out we saw him in a bad condition. He has suffered fracture in hand and neck but his condition is stable. Principal also expressed ignorance about how his student was injured. "I don't know how the student has suffered injuries neither I know whether there was any shelling after the protests," principal told Kashmir Times.
Public relations officer (PRO) of the army, Rajesh Kalia denied that the army men thrashed any driver or students.
"Our men are not involved in thrashing a driver or any student," PRO told Kashmir Times.



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