Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard in front of market
Srinagar - XINHUA
As anti-Israel protests intensified in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir, the government announced a 17-day summer break for schools in Muslim majority areas starting Tuesday.
Though officials are tight-lipped over the sudden decision to close down educational institutions, sources said the step was taken in a bid to stop mass protests.
"All educational institutions including private ones will remain closed for summer vacation starting from today until July 31," Director of Education Department, Mir Tariq Ali said.
A series of demonstrations mostly led by students condemning Israel for carrying out deadly attacks on Gaza rocked Muslim majority areas of the region on Monday.
Anti-Israel protests started on last Friday and since then have been going on daily basis.
According to Palestinian officials, Israeli air strikes on Gaza under "Operation Protective Edge" have killed 192 people and wounded over 1,400.
The officials fear that the protests would escalate tension and result in violence.
Demonstrations in the restive region usually turn into anti- India demonstrations, resulting in clashes with police.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the psyche of majority of Kashmiris.
A separatist movement challenging New Delhi's rule has been going on in the restive region since 1989.