Schools remain closed in Bomai

Around two dozen government and private schools in Bomai and adjoining villages remained closed for the second day demanding shifting of Army camps from the villages.

Written by Majid Jahangir | Srinagar | Published:March 3, 2009 10:08 am

Even as the schools across the valley re-opened after two month long winter break on Monday,around two dozen government and private schools in north Kashmir’s Bomai and adjoining villages have chosen to remain closed for the second consecutive day. The villagers in Bomai are demanding shifting of Army camps from the village after two civilians were allegedly killed ten days ago when the Army opened fire at pilgrims.

The District Magistrate,Baramulla is holding an inquiry into the civilian killings and he is likely to submit a detailed report to the state government within the next few days. The residents of the village had said that the schools in and around Bomai village will not open until the shifting of the Army and CRPF camps in the village.

On Monday when the schools in rest of the valley re-opened after winter break,the teachers and students decided to stay away from their schools. All the schools were locked. The students undertook a silent protest against the Army and demanded immediate removal of the Army camps from the area.

“For how long we have to wait for justice,” read a placard carried by the students during the protest. “Our schools share a common wall with an Army camp and after the killing of two civilians we feel insecure.”

The Chief Education Officer (CEO) Baramulla Ghulam Mohideen Sheikh confirmed that the schools remained closed in the Bomai and many other adjoining villages. “All the government and private schools in and around Bomai remained closed today,” Ghulam Mohideen Sheikh said. “The staff of these schools reported at the Zonal Education Office as the schools were closed.”

The coordination committee,spearheading the case of the killed youth in Bomai,has threatened to fast unto death from Wednesday in case the government fails to withdraw Army from the villages. “We are giving a deadline of 24 hours to the government for withdrawing the troops from the area and if they fail we will go on fast unto death,” the President of the Coordination Committee Hakeem-ul-Rehman said. “Many people have extended support to our upcoming programme,if our demands are not met immediately”. The killing of two civilians in Bomai had sparked massive protests across the valley and the J-K Chief Minister had ordered a magisterial probe. The Army too is holding a high level inquiry into the incident.

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