Students in the Kashmir Valley continued protests for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, forcing the authorities to close down all 46 colleges for two more days. “Teaching work in all colleges of the Kashmir division will remain suspended on April 20 and 21 as a precautionary measure,” said a spokesman of the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Khan.Class work was stopped in all colleges and a few schools in Srinagar on Monday after students clashed with the security forces, leaving dozens injured. The trigger was the alleged police excesses on students of Government Degree College, Pulwama on April 13, which left over 50 students injured.In fresh protests on Wednesday, students took to the streets in north and central Kashmir. “This is a grim situation. We are worried,” said a spokesman of the State Education Ministry. The ministry officials claimed that the decision to close down schools and colleges “is taken by the district administration after assessing the ground situation”.This year’s academic session, like in 2016, when five months were lost to the street agitation, is again staring at a blank. Sources said the government was mulling multiple measures, including barring circulation of videos on social media platforms to stop unrest in colleges. Separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, while strongly criticising the administration for “invading educational institutions and assaulting students,” called for solidarity protests on Friday.Meanwhile, the principal of Government Degree College, Pulwama, which is at the centre of the storm, was on Tuesday attached to the directorate office “till the inquiry is completed.”
The District Rural Police on Wednesday arrested Milind Ekbote, the prime accused in the Bhima-Koregaon violence of January 1 this year. The Supreme Court had on Wednesday cancelled his interim bail relief. Ekbote was picked up from his home in Pune’s Shivajinagar area Thursday morning.Two FIRs were lodged against Ekbote, who is the executive president of Samasta Hindu Aghadi outfit, for allegedly orchestrating the riots which left one person dead. The apex court quashed any further extensions of Ekbote’s bail relief after the State prosecutor submitted that he had not cooperated with the probe agencies, and had refused to hand over the mobile phone, claiming that he had apparently “lost” the phone.He is to be produced before the Pune Sessions Court later in the day.Police sources further said that Ekbote had been summoned at least five times for interrogation, but had not cooperated after one session with the investigating authorities on February 23.Earlier on January 22, his anticipatory bail application was rejected by the Pune Sessions court and again by the Bombay High Court on February 2.On February 6, the Pune sessions court issued an arrest warrant for Ekbote, who then moved the Supreme Court for interim bail the next day which was granted to him.The Pune Rural police had booked him under Sections 307, 143, 148, 149, and 295 of the IPC, and the Prevention of Atrocities Act, based on complaints filed at various police stations on January 1.Last month, while extending his bail relief, the Supreme Court had rapped the State government and probe agencies for their tardy progress in their probe against Ekbote, questioning the agencies’ claims that he was allegedly ‘untraceable’.
Manchester United 3 Bournemouth 1Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford scored to lift Manchester United to a comfortable 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Tuesday that secured fifth place in the Premier League table. (Latest Football stories)The game was hastily rearranged after the match on Sunday was abandoned due to a bomb scare and the first half was very low key in front of a sparse Old Trafford crowd.The one moment of quality produced a fine goal, however, just before the interval when United’s French forward Anthony Martial injected pace down the left and Rashford stepped over his cross to leave Rooney with a simple finish.The 18-year-old Rashford provided another example of his burgeoning talent with a clinical finish, his eighth goal since making his debut in February, in the 74th minute and Ashley Young added United’s third before defender Chris Smalling’s stoppage-time own goal gave Bournemouth a consolation.