Kashmir school attacks: J&K high court directs authorities to take protective measures
Kashmiri protesters shout pro-freedom slogans during a protest against civilian killings amid ongoing summer unrest in Srinagar on September 9. Photograph: (AFP)
In the wake of the latest spate of attacks on schools in Kashmir Valley, Jammu and Kashmir high court today took suo-moto cognizance of the burning of schools, Indian news agency ANI reported.
#Flash J&K HC takes suo-moto cognisance of burning of schools in the valley.— ANI (@ANI_news) October 31, 2016
The division bench directed the chief secretary of northernmost Jammu and Kashmir state, Brij Raj Sharma, director general of police (DGP) , Rajendra Kumar, and Director of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) to issue necessary instructions to deputy commissioners, SSPs ( Senior Superintendent of Police) and CEOs of concerned districts to take all preventive and protective measures as shall be necessary for saving school buildings from unknown enemies of education, the agency said.
The bench also directed the three officers to remain present during November 7 hearing.
Schools in the Valley have emerged as the new casualties amid unrest in Kashmir that has spanned over four months following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
Nearly 28 schools have been set ablaze here as blame game continues between the government authorities and separatist leaders, who demand a separate state.
"Few people in J&K are pulling children back into dirt, we have to wipe them," minister of state (MoS) for human resource development, Mahendra Nath Pandey was quoted as saying by ANI.
Meanwhile, chairman of United Jihad Council (UJC), the conglomerate of militant outfits, accused the Indian agencies of burning the educational institutions in a statement today.
“We appeal the people of Kashmir to take the responsibility of protecting all private and government schools and also unveil those behind the burning of schools,” the statement quoted Syed Salahuddin as having said.
Salahuddin claimed that “such attempts were made to portray a wrong picture of the public resistance in Kashmir, to keep away the youth of Kashmir from education, and to dent the valley’s economy.”
At least three buildings were set on fire within 24 hours, local media reported on Sunday.
Meanwhile, normal life remained disrupted in Kashmir for the 115th consecutive day today due to the separatist-sponsored strike over the recent civilian killings and in support of their demand for the right to 'self-determination', Indian news agency PTI reported.