Teen schoolgirls in Kashmir on the streets
Angry youth throwing stones on the streets is common in the Kashmir Valley. But what has taken everyone by surprise is girls, some in their school uniforms and others donning hijabs, also joining the protesters, hurling stones and venting their anger on police vehicles.
Girl students clashed with security forces at Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar on April 24, the day the educational institutions in the restive Valley reopened after a five-day shutdown. It was a defining image of the turmoil in the state; a rare and disturbing sight.
The students say the trigger was in response to the crackdown earlier this month on students by security forces in a college in Pulwama, some 30-km away. Video clips purportedly showing students being beaten went viral on social media, after which security forces drew flak. Over 50 students were injured after they protested against a temporary check-post set up outside the college by the security forces.
Later, in the wake of stone pelting by girls, an all-women India Reserve Battalion was also announced to primarily deal with such incidents like stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir.