Two more schools in Kashmir were damaged in incidents of arson since Thursday evening, taking the number of schools in the Valley set on fire to 29. Amnesty International on Friday called for an end to the “disturbing trend” of burning schools and asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to punish the arsonists.
With the government seeking help from village committees to protect the schools, many attempts to set the buildings on fire have been foiled, officials said. On Thursday evening, Government Boys Middle School Asthan Mohallah in Bandipora’s Naid Khai village was set on fire.
“The building suffered minor damages and some school records were gutted. A case under Sections 436 and 511 RPC has been registered, a police spokesperson said. Government Primary School Dugpora in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district was partially damaged after it was set on fire Thursday evening. A police official said major damage was averted due to timely intervention. “A makeshift kitchen was gutted but the classrooms were saved,” he said.
In a statement, Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India, said, “Schools should be safe spaces under all circumstances. The vicious arson attacks on schools end up denying children in Kashmir their right to education. This disturbing trend must stop.”