01 November, 2020

A Girl, A Basketball, A Stone

Girl students pelting stones at the police in the heart of Srinagar marks a shift in the Kashmir unrest’s visual profile

No Child’s Play
The ‘basketball girl’ and other students near Lal Chowk
Photograph by PTI
A Girl, A Basketball, A Stone

A girl student with a basketball in her left hand and a stone in the right rushes forward to hurl the stone at Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel and then, just moments later, is seen among a group of girls kicking an armoured vehicle in the heart of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital. She doesn’t drop the basketball, holding it close to the chest all the while.

Now picture this: A male student injured during the protest is lying uncon­scious on the road—smack in the middle of the virtual “no man’s land” between stone-pelting students and a huge contingent of police personnel in full riot gear. A group of fellow students charge forward to rescue him. They shout Azadi slogans, vent their rage in the choicest abuses they can think of and let loose a volley of stones on the riot police, forcing them to ­retreat a few metres. Like soldiers in a war, they move the injured away from the thick of the street battle.

And this: A girl student with a backpack and in a tight checkered salwar has her face covered with a blue...



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