Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today defended stone-pelting by Kashmiri students, arguing it was a way to vent their anger against the system that is "inimical and hostile" towards them.
He also said a "blanket ban" on the freedom of expression and absence of student activism in the educational institutions was the primary factor for the ongoing students' agitation in Kashmir.
"There is a blanket ban on freedom of expression, even inside school premise, let alone in colleges and universities. Student activism is a distant dream in Kashmir and no form of deliberation and exchange of ideas and expression of thought is "allowed," he said addressing a seminar here.
The seminar, "Constructive society and the role of students", was organised at a school in downtown Srinagar as part of the commemorative program organised by Anjuman Nusratul Islam in memory of its former president Mirwaiz Molvi Mohammad Farooq who was assassinated by militants on May 21, 1990.
The Hurriyat Conference chairman said with such "strict" curbs in place for students, authorities have pushed students and youth of Kashmir to wall leaving them with the only option of hitting the streets to be heard.
Mirwaiz demanded that students' associations should be revived in the schools, the colleges and the universities across Kashmir. Also, student activism and freedom of expression be restored and students be allowed to put forth their point of view and aspirations.
"Absence of this (student activism), it is leading to the current crisis," he said, adding the situation in Kashmir was "volatile due to political, social and religious curbs and bans" put in place to crush the "people's movement".
He said now, even the students of educational institutions were being made "soft targets by the state which is highly condemnable".
Farooq said while the situation in Kashmir is "volatile with political social and religious curbs and bans" put in place to crush the "people's movement" now even on the educational front students are being made "soft targets by the state which is highly condemnable".
"It is highly deplorable and unfortunate on the part of the authoritarian state that even students are targeted by them and and are at the receiving end of their repressive policies. A direct confrontational approach has been taken against the students as they are treated like an enemy by the state," Mirwaiz alleged.
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