HELD SRINAGAR/NEW DELHI: More than 125,000 extra soldiers have been deployed, a security source said, joining around 500,000 already in the northern Himalayan region.
Schools reopened in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) main city on Monday but most classrooms were empty as parents kept their children home, fearing unrest over the government’s decision two weeks ago to revoke the region’s autonomy. Thousands of people have been arrested by Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir as curfew and other restrictions continued for the 16th day on Monday.
Some 190 primary schools were set open in Srinagar in a sign of normalcy returning to Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir where authorities started to ease restrictions on movement last week. Parents said their children would stay home until cellular networks are restored and they can be incontact with them. “How can we risk the lives of our children?” said Gulzar Ahmad, a father of two children enrolled in a school in the city’s Batamaloo district where protests have occurred.
“Troops have arrested minor children in the last two weeks and several children were injured in clashes,” he said. “Our children are safe inside their homes. If they go to school who can guarantee their safety?”
Authorities have previously denied reports of mass arrests. Srinagar’s top administrative officer, Shahid Iqbal Chaudhry, said on Sunday that adequate security would be provided for schools. “I will take responsibility for any untoward incident,” he added.