On May 14, 2019, violent clashes reportedly broke out between authorities and students at Amar Singh College during a protest just outside the campus gates. The students were protesting in response to news of the rape of a three-year-old girl in Kashmir.
News of the rape spawned protests by students and civilians across Kashmir. During a May 14 protest at Amar Singh College, students shouted slogans demanding justice and criticizing the government’s response. The students attempted to take their protest off campus and began marching to the main road; however, police on the scene reportedly prevented them from doing so. Clashes reportedly broke out between the two sides, with some students throwing stones at police, and the latter firing tear gas in return.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence during a student protest. While state authorities have a right to maintain security and order on campus, they must do so in ways that minimize the risk of harm to individuals and that respect institutional autonomy and human rights. Likewise, while students have the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, they have an obligation to refrain from physical violence. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims and the campus community, violent activities during a student protest undermine institutional autonomy and democratic society generally.