Says education important to life like water and air, illiteracy breeds ignorance
Srinagar: Observing that education is an essential component of human life like water and air, the J&K high court has directed the state government to take immediate steps for reconstruction of the schools that were either burnt down or damaged during the ongoing uprising in Kashmir Valley.
At least 34 schools were burnt or damaged as per the information revealed by the government to the high court.
As many as 47 persons including five juveniles were arrested by police for their alleged involvement, 10 of whom have been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA), Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police informed the court in the latest status report.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Alok Aradhe also asked people to ensure that the educational institutions in their areas are protected.
The court passed the orders after hearing B A Dar, Additional Advocate General, who submitted that all the directions by the court, issued after it took suo moto cognizance, have been complied with by the education department.
Dar submitted that he has been provided a voluminous report by the authorities of the school education department in compliance to the court’s directions and he will file two copies of the same within three weeks.
The court has shown its deep concern about the burning down of the educational institutions in various parts of the Valley and in order to ensure their protection against being vandalized, damaged or burnt down, it issued several directions from time to time.
“Education is not relevant only for present times but it has been relevant for the human beings from the advent of human history. The illiteracy breeds ignorance and illiterate people are susceptible to all kinds of exploitations. Like water and air, education is an essential component of human life,” the court observed.
For moral, spiritual and material development of a human being, the court said, education is of utmost importance.
“In the aforesaid background we direct the respondents to take immediate steps for reconstruction of the schools which have been burnt down or damaged,” the court said and directed the authorities to file compliance report before the next date, posted after ensuing winter vacations.
Meanwhile, the IGP informed that the four persons were granted bail by district and sessions court Srinagar. In district Budgam, the Valley’s top cop said that three persons were bailed out. In another central Kashmir district, Ganderbal, he said three persons have applied for the bail and two have been granted it.
He said, seven persons in Baramulla, four in Anantnag, six in Kulgam have also been bailed out by the court. In Shopian district, he said, eight persons applied for bail and seven of them were granted it by the court.
He said three more arrests were made by the police from mid December, taking the number of those allegedly involved in burning of schools to 47 with 42 among them being adults and five juveniles.
He said 19 dossiers have been submitted to the district magistrates concerned for issuance of warrants under PSA, while 10 such warrants have been already executed.
The IGP submitted that the police supervisory officers and patrolling parties continue their visits of school buildings in their respective areas and till date 6712 visits of schools have been conducted.
“Apart from the visible deployment of police personnel on ground in the shape of guards and nakas and patrolling, covert arrangements have also been worked out in order to receive the advance inputs about the nefarious designs of the mischief mongers,” he said. He said special investigating teams (SITs) have been stressed upon to ensure that the investigation of the cases be conducted as per the highest standards of investigation by collecting sufficient evidences against the those involved to award “exemplary punishment” to them.