Condemning the burning of schools in the Kashmir Valley, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha on Saturday said these institutions should be repaired and re-opened without further delay. “In all our meetings in Srinagar when we visited it for three days, we raised with the interlocutors the issue of the re-opening of schools, because nobody has the right to play with the future of the children of the Kashmir Valley. Therefore, our emphasis was that the schools should re-open and the government and whoever is on the other side should to decide on how the schools can be re-opened and do it immediately without loss of time,” Sinha said.
He added that it is very tragic that schools in Jammu and Kashmir are being burnt down. Whoever is responsible for such dastardly act should be apprehended and punished most severely, he said. “This is an act against humanity. Some people have been arrested, I understand. Investigation must be done to find out who these people are, why they are doing what they did and also to find out if there are any other forces behind their action,” Sinha said.
Speaking to ANI about the role of state government in tackling such incidents, Sinha said, “The state government has to energize the village communities in order to ensure that they are alert and the schools are not allowed to be burnt and if the miscreants attempt any such thing, they should be apprehended. This is something that has to be done immediately, so that such incidents don’t repeat themselves.”
Two more schools were torched by unknown masked men in south Kashmir. In all, 27 schools have been gutted, 15 of them partially, in the past three months in the strife-torn Valley. No group has claimed responsibility for these acts and police have not been able to establish the identity of the arsonists yet.
With increasing number of schools being burnt in the Valley triggering an outrage, the J&K high court on Monday stepped in, directing the police and civil administration to ensure their protection besides unmasking the “mysterious enemies of education” and deal with them with an “iron hand”. (ANI)