ReutersNew Delhi, Delhi, IndiaMay 15, 2017, 09.32 AM
Amid regular clashes between separatists and security forces in Kashmir, the J&K government has re-introduced a fortnightly train service only for school children for excursion purposes.
Away from stone-pelting and sporadic noise of gunshots, about 450 school students from districts of Kashmir boarded the train at different railway stations and explored the countryside of their state.
'Wadi Ki Sair,' a fortnightly train service, only for students, was introduced on December 12 last year, when chief minister Mehbooba Mufti travelled from Banihal with students of different schools.
The train service, which can be availed only on second and fourth Sunday of the month, was stopped after educational institutions closed down as winter vacation began in the valley.
The Jammu and Kashmir education minister Syed Altaf Bukhari re-inaugurated this service for children after schools re-opened.
Kashmir, which is surrounded by mountains on all sides, is yet to get connected to rest of the country through railway link. The ongoing project to connect the valley with the mainland India is likely to be completed in 2020.
Away from stone pelting and sporadic noise of gunshots, about 450 school students from districts of Kashmir boarded the train at different railway stations and explored the countryside of their state (WION)
Indian part of Kashmir has been simmering with protests since July last year, when a popular underground militant, Burhan Wani, was killed by security forces. There was a temporary lull in the valley owing to snowfall, however, the protests resumed this year with protesters clashing almost regularly with security forces.
India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism in the valley, which the latter denies.