A government school, designated as a polling station for the Anantnag bypoll, was set ablaze in south Kashmir’s Padarpora, nearly 12 km from Shopian town. The school was burned last night by “unidentified persons”. Shopian SP Tahir Saleem told The Indian Express: “We have started investigations into the matter.”
After the civilian deaths during Sunday’s Srinagar bypoll, the administration had feared protests and boycott in south Kashmir, which was the epicentre of the 2016 summer unrest.
Senior police officials posted in south Kashmir said they have put their forces on alert in the area.
“In central Kashmir, the security forces had to deal with protesters only….but here, we have to deal with the protesters and also have to keep the militants at bay. This is a challenge for all of us,” said a police official.
Meanwhile, the Valley remained shut on the call of separatists against Sunday’s civilian deaths. Stone-throwing protests were reported from several places across the Valley. Shops, educational institutes and business establishments remained closed and public transport remained off the roads. The attendance in government offices remained thin, even though private vehicles plied on the streets.
Internet services in the Valley have been shut since Sunday in wake of the protests during the election in Srinagar.