Several people involved in burning down of schools in Kashmir have been arrested and those responsible for bringing education to a standstill will not be spared, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Monday as she hinted that schools in the Valley may reopen in the coming week after remaining closed for nearly four months. “The authorities have already taken into custody some miscreants who were engaged in burning down of schools. They have been arrested and put behind bars,” she told reporters.
“When everything started moving in Jammu and Kashmir, some miscreants burned down our schools which impacted the education system. We will not spare those who burned down our schools. I hope that in the coming week, there would be some good news (with regard to reopening of schools),” she said.
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The chief minister said, “Children (of Kashmir) have been coming here (in Jammu) for studies and unfortunately, some of our schools have burned down and education has come to a standstill in a way (in Kashmir).”
As many as 34 schools have been burned down and 110 government buildings damaged in Kashmir Valley since the ongoing unrest began following the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.
Out of the 110 government buildings, 65 were either completely gutted or partially burned down and 55 were damaged through “other means”. Amid outrage over the burning of schools, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of this development and asked the state government to take steps to prevent such incidents and “unmask” to culprits.
Earlier this week, the Centre too had asked the state government to check such attempts and make efforts for reopening the schools which have been closed since July 9.
Asked about the change of heart and stubborn attitude of the separatists with regard to the situation in Kashmir, she said, “You are posing a question to the wrong person. You should ask this question to them (separatists), what can I say.” The Civil Secretariat opened in Jammu, the state’s winter capital, today after functioning from Srinagar for the past six months.
As part of the biennial darbar move, Raj Bhavan, Civil Secretariat and other state government offices closed in Srinagar on October end and reopened here today. Mufti was accorded traditional guard of honour upon her arrival at the Civil Secretariat by a contingent of Jammu and Kashmir Police.
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