The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday said those pelting stones in the name of the eight-year-old victim of Kathua rape and murder case were only hurting the image and interests of the state, as the trial in the case was on and accused were behind the bars. “What is there to protest about? Case is solved, charge sheet filed, accused in custody, trial on. Those who still pelt stones in the name of the poor girl of Kathua are only hurting the image and interests of the state,” government spokesman and Public Works minister Naeem Akhtar said. He was referring to protests by students of various educational institutions, demanding justice for the victim.
Akhtar urged the students to attend their classes instead of protesting on the streets. “What is the occasion for protests, stone-pelting when the case is solved, accused in jail and trial on? Shouldn’t they be attending classes instead,” the minister said. Akhtar’s cabinet colleague and Shia leader Imran Ansari also appealed to the students to concentrate on their studies, asserting that justice would be delivered.
“I would strongly urge my young students to please concentrate on your studies. Understand your anguish against #Kathua but a trial is on. Ministers have resigned. Justice will be delivered. My message to you – pls (please) study,” Ansari, who is the minister for Youth Services and Sports, Information Technology and Technical Education, said.
Earlier on Thursday, authorities shut down several colleges and higher secondary schools across the valley to thwart the student protests. Colleges and higher secondary schools were closed for class work in Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian and Ganderbal districts while several such institutions were closed in other six districts of the valley, officials had said.