Another Valley school set ablaze, count goes up to 19 in 3 months

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far. While police have registered cases in all the incidents, no arrests have been made.

Written by Mir Ehsan | Srinagar | Updated: October 26, 2016 2:28 pm
kashmir, kashmir schools set fire to, kashmir schools set afire, kashmir schools set ablaze, three kashmir schools set afire, 3 kashmir schools set afire, kashmir unrest, kashmir curfew, kashmir news, burhan wani, burhan wani killing, india news, indian express Bandipore school set on fire Monday. (Express Photo: Shuaib Masoodi)

THE building housing Middle School Saderkote in North Kashmir’s Bandipore district was set on fire late on Monday night, becoming the 19th government school in the Valley to be burnt since the protests began after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far. While police have registered cases in all the incidents, no arrests have been made.

WATCH VIDEO: School in Jammu & Kashmir’s Bandipore District Set on Fire

 

The buildings of three higher secondary schools, eight high schools, seven middle and primary schools, and one Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya school have been damaged. Officials said more than 5,000 students are enrolled in these schools.

This is not the first time school buildings have been attacked in the Valley. Soon after militancy began in 1989, hundreds of schools and colleges had been set on fire by unidentified people. They were reconstructed over the years.

Kulgam district in south Kashmir tops the list with six school buildings set on fire here, housing two high schools, one higher secondary school, two middle schools and one Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya school. Three school buildings have been hit in Budgam, two in Bandipore, two in Baramulla, two in Shopian and one each in Kupwara, Anantnag, Ganderbal and Pulwama districts.

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Director, Education, Kashmir, Ajaz Ahmad told The Indian Express that he had sought details from district chief education officers and taken up the matter with police. “Seven schools have been gutted completely while 11 have suffered partial damage. We have already increased the number of chowkidars and night watchmen in big schools for security,” Ahmad said.

A senior Education Department officer tasked with investigating the incidents said these had larger implications. “If steps are not taken, the number of schools burnt could go higher. It is meant to deprive poor people of education,” he said. “The government is very concerned and has taken it up at the highest level.”

Chief Education Officer, Kulgam, Rouf Shahmiri said there appeared to be a pattern to the attacks, which began five-six weeks ago. “Police also interrogated some teachers and staff members. However, they have not been able to arrest any culprit,” Shahmiri said, pointing out that students enrolled in these schools could end up suffering for a long time till the buildings were repaired.

“Once the schools reopen, we will try to accommodate students whose classrooms have been burnt. Construction of new buildings will take time as funds will be needed for reconstruction,” he pointed out.

Mohammad Shafi, the Chief Education Officer of Bandipore, where a school was set on fire on Monday, said they were clueless about who was responsible. “Earlier too, a higher secondary school building was set on fire at Sumbal,” he said.

“It will take years to reconstruct these schools and our children will suffer,” a teacher hailing from Bugam village in Kulgam district said.

All educational institutions in Kashmir have been shut for the past three months due to the unrest and shutdown call by the separatist leadership. Recently, the J&K government went ahead and announced an exam date-sheet for students of Classes X and XII. The decision has been criticised as, apart from incomplete syllabus, hundreds of students are either detained or have suffered injuries in police action in the current violence.

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First Published on: October 26, 2016 3:34 am
  1. M
    MyTake
    Oct 26, 2016 at 8:53 pm
    This will help to get an uninterrupted supply line for the would be Jehadis! "Quran covers all facets life" (as the proponents of Islam would say), including dirty politics, if one may say so!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Long term Islamic plan with short term action!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Now all that is left for the rest is to take on Islam just as another political eny, going by its very own behaviour!
    Reply
    1. M
      MyTake
      Oct 26, 2016 at 8:45 pm
      To become an Islamists one does not need an school! lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;At the dawn of their budding "civilisation" their sword wielding ancestors said, "what worth knowing is already in the Quaran, hence, keeping or not keeping other books does not make any difference"!!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;"Al Hamdulillah"!!
      Reply
      1. M
        MyTake
        Oct 27, 2016 at 12:59 am
        In whose interest it is to have kids outside school (and throw stones) rather than inside school?
        Reply
        1. M
          MyTake
          Oct 27, 2016 at 12:57 am
          So, India spend money to build it then spend time to burn it!
          Reply
          1. Y
            Yogesh
            Oct 26, 2016 at 5:41 am
            Pak Mujahideen destroying Kashmiri Muslim Children's lives
            Reply
            1. A
              Anamika
              Oct 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm
              Do you feel ashamed if introduce burhan wani as "terrorist "?
              Reply
              1. A
                asdasd
                Oct 26, 2016 at 7:31 am
                India should implement UN resolution . .. go for plebiscite and help kashmisirs to accept their fate . . . . .within six months or one year . .they will come running to India for help. . this is guaranteed . .and that should be the correct moment to pin down the issues . .once for all . . !! . . let kashmisris know ..what is the capability of the seperatists . .what have they done so far for kashmiris .. stigate and distribute money collected from both sides??
                Reply
                1. R
                  Raj
                  Oct 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm
                  Intefada... seriously, you need a jihad against illiteracy. Kashmir is suffering from poverty of the mind.
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Raj
                    Oct 26, 2016 at 3:19 pm
                    Who needs schools when you have full time stone pelting! Kashmiri start up - stone pelting! Entire India is looking to start ups, Kashmir is looking at a start up unique to it, stone pelting.
                    Reply
                    1. C
                      Chaddi
                      Oct 26, 2016 at 2:15 am
                      Shame on Indian Army. Shame on BJP-PDP. Shame On Modi.
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        Kaliyug
                        Oct 26, 2016 at 1:32 am
                        The BJP should sooner than ever invoke the death penalty for causing harm to public lives and property, once they hang a few the rest will learn to behave. Israel routinely demolishes the homes of evil doers, I think India can do just that.
                        Reply
                        1. H
                          Harry
                          Oct 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm
                          it is up to Kashmiri people. They should protect schools, if they want their children to educated. The other choice is to let them be ignorant and become cannon fodder for ISI or ISIS and earn the money by living dangerously.
                          Reply
                          1. M
                            Mukesh Bansal
                            Oct 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm
                            Who will pay for such losses ??lt;br/gt;Nobody pays taxes in Kashmir. Take lot of subsidies. And damage public properties. These people will always suffer.
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              Mansukh Patel
                              Oct 26, 2016 at 6:43 am
                              Maybe government should give them madrasa they don't need education
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                sameer
                                Oct 26, 2016 at 9:32 pm
                                First you should know, who is burning these schools? It is the indian agencies who are committing such acts to defame Kashmiris. Know the ground situation first and then talk.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  sameer
                                  Oct 26, 2016 at 9:11 pm
                                  Get some knowledge Mr.Yogesh... There are no stanis in Kashmir. Kashmiris are fighting for their rights on their own.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    sameer
                                    Oct 26, 2016 at 9:35 pm
                                    you may sound hilarious but you will never feel the pain of Kashmiris....
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      Murthy
                                      Oct 26, 2016 at 4:11 am
                                      What they mean is: "We do not need education, since we do not intend to qualify for any jobs. We can learn to throw stones in just a few minutes, na?"
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        masa
                                        Oct 26, 2016 at 4:41 am
                                        The Muslims extremists and Naxals will target the education system because ,if educated, then the youth will not follow them blindly. They want illiterate youth to send them as stone thrower or suicide attacker.
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          Manas Sarkar
                                          Oct 26, 2016 at 4:32 am
                                          This proves, terrorists don't want people of Kashmir be educated and become illiterate like them...
                                          Reply
                                          1. H
                                            Hemant
                                            Oct 26, 2016 at 9:26 am
                                            shame on these fellows who are the brutal murderers of civilsed world.lt;br/gt;They have nothing to offer other than their selfish motive of brutalalising and bishing civilised people with the shameless support of the porkis
                                            Reply
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