Students, police clash in AJK varsity, several injured

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MUZAFFARABAD: A number of people were severely injured when police baton charged and used tear gas shells to disperse protesting students in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday. Scores of students from the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir staged a demonstration over the non-provision of parking spaces in Muzaffarabad.

The protests led to blocked roads, which further resulted in traffic jams. When the protestors denied clearing the area, police resorted to the use of force to disperse them. The police fired tear gas shells on the protesting students, who were forced to retreat to the university premises. Later, the students shouted slogans against the police and called them ‘terrorists’.

According to media reports, the clash erupted when the students were protesting on the main road along the varsity’s city campus reportedly on the issue of parking of their bikes and cars. Due to the limited empty space in city campus only faculty members are allowed to take their vehicles inside, while students park their bikes on the main road outside.

The students had long been demanding that the parking lot beneath the mutton market, located just across city campus, should be reserved for them. However, the administration was not agreeing to their demand, maintaining that the parking lot was meant for the citizens and shoppers.

Due to the protest, the main artery was choked with traffic. After failing to disperse students, the police resorted to tear gas shelling. Both sides were also seen pelting each other with stones.