India

Kashmir students take exams despite four-month school shutdown

Kashmiri students study outside a house on the outskirts of Srinagar on November 2, 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Schools have been shut in Kashmir since July

More than 100,000 students are taking exams in Indian-administered Kashmir despite not being able to attend school for nearly four months.

But the government says this will not disadvantage students as they will be tested on only half the syllabus.

Calls were also made to delay exams after dozens of schools were burned by unknown attackers in recent weeks.

BBC Urdu's Riyaz Masroor in Srinagar says 98% of registered students are taking the exam amid tight security.

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"The process has been smooth since the morning. Most students agreed to take the exams to avoid wasting an academic year," he said.

The government has also promised to hold another round of exams in March for the remaining 2% of students who have opted not to sit them this time.

Schools have been shut since July following clashes between security forces and protesters after the death of popular militant Burhan Wani, who was killed in a gun battle with security forces.

The continuing unrest in Indian-administered Kashmir has seen the deaths of 89 civilians with thousands injured since July.

India blames Pakistan for stirring up violence in the region, a charge that it denies. Both countries claim Kashmir in its entirety but only control parts of it.

The region has been a flashpoint for more than 60 years, sparking two wars between the countries.

Within the Muslim-majority territory, some militant groups have taken up arms to fight for independence from Indian rule or a merger with Pakistan.

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