Srinagar: Coming down heavily on the state government over the issue of schools burnt during the 2016 uprising, the J&K High Court on Thursday gave the government four weeks to finalise the entire process required to re-construct the schools and directed the commissioner secretary to forward a report to the finance secretary for the same. The court ordered this report to be presented before it on the next date of hearing.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed the state to file an updated status report regarding the investigation being carried out by police into the burning of schools. Advocate Syed Musaib informed the court that for the 49 cases registered with the police, only three persons had been brought before court. In 9 cases the culprits were untraced, 32 cases were under investigation, and one case had been cancelled. It was also informed that only one private school was burnt down during the 2016 unrest.
The court chided the government for having taken one month to submit a report to the commissioner secretary. “Things shouldn’t work like that. It is the future of our children. There is no proper report regarding the investigation process, what are you doing?” the Chief Justice said.
Amicus Curie Syed Musaib informed the court that classes of students were being operated in kitchens in Kulgam district, the children’s lives at risk from the gas cylinders. He said that there were no sitting arrangements for primary and middle school students and the classes are not being held regularly.
Additional Advocate General BA Dar was directed to submit a status report regarding the infrastructure and quality of education being provided to children.
“Proper education is the way forward for better learning. Improper education leads to improper learning. It is the right of children to have the best of facilities and the government has to provide it,” Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed said.
The court also directed that classes be held in multiple shifts if there was a problem in accommodation.