If curfew and shut down were not enough, the valley faces another problem- burning of schools. A total of 19 schools have been burned till now and over the past three-and-a-half months, at least one school in each of Kashmir Valley’s 10 districts have either been burnt or suffered damages in fires.
Moreover, five schools were burnt in the last five days alone and officials of the directorate of school education said that 17 government middle, high and higher secondary schools have been burnt mysteriously during the unrest. Of these, seven were reduced to ashes while 10 were damaged partially in the fire.
This new mode of ‘protest’ seems inspired by Taliban’s offensive against education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and schools remained shut since the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.
Officials said that around two million Kashmiri students have been prevented from going to schools across the Kashmir Valley.
The closure of schools and colleges has also been enforced by the diktats issued by the separatist conglomerate Hurriyat and militant outfits as Lashkar spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi quoted LeT operation chief Mehmood Shah and said: “Education Minister Naeem Akhtar should desist from trying to break the shutdown forcefully as Kashmiris are educated enough to decide what is good or bad for them. If Naeem Akhtar does not budge, we will initiate action against him.”
Hundreds of parents have sent their wards to cities like Jammu and Delhi for studies after they lost three months of schooling.