SRINAGAR -- Class XII board examinations began peacefully in Kashmir on Monday with nearly 95% of the 32,000 students writing their papers, marking the resumption of educational activity in the Valley after schools remained shut for over four months due to the unrest.
Barring a few minor law and order incidents in some places, the test on the first day was conducted smoothly at more than 450 centres across Kashmir, including 73 in the summer capital, officials said.
About 94.88% of the total 31,964 students appeared in the examination, an official of Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE), which conducts the examinations, told.
The official said the overall attendance of the students was up by 2.56% from last year.
Over 480 centres have been set up for about 48,000 candidates for Class XII board examinations across Kashmir division, the official said, adding that the students who opted for the sixth paper appeared for the test on Monday.
The government had decided to hold the exams as scheduled despite demands by parents that they be put off as the unrest had disrupted educational activities in the Valley.
Massive security arrangements were put in places across the Valley for the smooth conduct of the examination.
However, minor stone-pelting incidents were reported at a few places in Pulwama, Shopian, Budgam, and Baramulla, which did not affect the conduct of the examinations.
The miscreants were chased away by the security forces without affecting the test, a police official said.
The BOSE official said the highest appearance percentage of the students was recorded in central Kashmir's Budgam district, where about 96.10% of the students wrote their papers.
Budgam was followed by Anantnag in south Kashmir where 96.01% students appeared in the examination, he said.
The official said North Kashmir's Bandipora witnessed the lowest attendance at 92.80%.
Two other south Kashmir districts Pulwama and Shopian recorded 94.65 and 93.66%, respectively.
South Kashmir has been the worst hit in the ongoing unrest in the valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter in July.
North Kashmir's Bandipora, Baramulla and Kupwara districts recorded attendance at 92.80, 93.70 and 93.10%, respectively, the official said, adding Srinagar and Ganderbal in central Kashmir recorded 95.83 and 92.93% attendance.
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