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Tuesday 17th of July 2018

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Ensnared by conflict, Kashmir’s youth face grim future

Friday 12th of January 2018 | Asia, India
Asia Times
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The 28-year-old conflict in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is taking an unprecedented toll on its young. Children caught in the midst of the civil strife are dropping out of school and case studies accessed by Asia Times reveals an alarming trend.

“I couldn’t appear for my 10th standard exams and I don’t want to study anymore. I know I will be picked up again by police so there is no fun in getting back to school,” says 17-year-old Sheikh Akram, who left his studies because police would often nab him on charges of stone pelting. Rainawari government school in Srinagar gave him a discharge certificate in early 2017 after he was absent for months at a stretch.

The armed struggle against Indian control of the Muslim-majority state began in 1989, but the nearly three decades of strife has taken a toll on generations young and old. Every arrest of a youngster still attending school stirs up anger and a natural instinct to rebel. When teenagers return from detention, their stories of abuse, allegedly at the hands of police, spurs their peers to participate in the vicious cycle of violence.

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