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Schools reopen in Bhaderwah

Educational institutes reopened on Monday amid the restoration of mobile internet services in Bhaderwah of Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district after remaining closed for 10 days due to communal tension in the town, officials said.

The day-curfew was completely lifted in the town as the overall situation remained by and large peaceful with no untoward incident reported from anywhere during the past 24 hours, they said.

All educational institutions including schools, colleges and university campuses reopened on Monday, the officials said.

The students were upbeat in joining back to their schools.

Police vehicles fitted with public address systems were seen making rounds in the Bhaderwah town and its peripheral areas on Sunday evening, informing residents about the reopening of schools, banks and other government offices and requesting them to send their children to schools from Monday morning beside seeking their cooperation in maintaining law and order.

Normal activities resumed in the town as large number of students especially girls were seen rushing to schools and colleges.

“We had suffered a lot since last two years due to lockdowns resulting in educational institutions remaining closed for almost two years. We were about to come to our terms and old routine of studies but these 10 days have added salt to our wounds,” Said Mubashra Sheikh (15), a Class 9 student.

“I’m happy, we are back to school after 10 days undeclared holidays. Our term exams are just round the corner, hope these fringe elements will now leave us in peace and let us concentrate on our studies,” said another student Mehak Kotwal (14).

Authorities lifted ‘day restrictions’ imposed since June 9. However, the night curfew will continue till further orders.

Mobile internet services resumed in Bhaderwah at 6 pm on Monday after remaining suspended for 12 days, the officials said.

Fixed-line internet services were restored on Sunday in the town after remaining suspended for the past 10 days, they added.

The curfew was also relaxed in the town for 12 hours for the third successive day as the overall situation remained by and large peaceful with no untoward incident reported from anywhere during the past 24 hours, they said.

Curfew was imposed in Bhaderwah town on June 9 following communal tension in the wake of protests over remarks of now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Mohammad and some social posts by local right wing activists in her support.

The curfew was relaxed, for the first time, in the town for two hours on June 15, five hours in two phases on June 16, four hours on June 17 and 12 hours on June 18 and the relaxation period passed off peacefully.

Police along with security forces are deployed in strength in the town to maintain peace, the officials said.
Additional District Magistrate (Bhaderwah) Dil Mir issued an advisory on Sunday, warning internet users of stringent action for sharing objectionable material on social media.

Meanwhile, students of half a dozen schools of the town including Kendriya Vidyalaya, Nagar school, Boys Higher Secondary, Girls Higher Secondary have to return back to their homes as the schools have been occupied by the security forces and could not be opened for students.

However, authorities said they are working round the clock to make alternate arrangements for the security forces and hopefully all the schools will start functioning normally in a couple of days.

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