The summer of 2016 witnessed unprecedented violence and disruption of law and order in Kashmir valley. The militants increased their subversive activities. Apart from over-ground workers who are commissioned to bring to the militants reports on movement of security forces, their location and operational strategies, the militants have expanded their activities by motivating Kashmiri youth through money power to join the crowds to become part of the stone throwing mobs. In one particular activity which caused anguish to many including even the diehard fanatics was that of torching school buildings and other structures like the offices of various Government institutions and organizations.
We are worried about the new culture of violence which aims at self- destruction and weakening of the State. One wonders whether we are living in pre-historic times devoid of social order and a systematized polity. What does the torching of school buildings indicate? During the summer of 2016 anti-Government elements torched 34 educational institutions mostly in South Kashmir where three districts are infested with militancy. Most of these schools were located in rural areas and catered to the needs of local boys and girls. The case of torching so many schools is pending before the Division Bench of the State High Court. The court had ordered for a status report by the Police Department which has been submitted. It records that 49 FIRs were filed and out of these 4 challans were made. This shows that only 2 per cent of investigation has been made for one year. The court expressed its displeasure on the slow and sluggish manner in which enquiry is going on. If the pace of enquiry remains the same we cannot say how many years will be needed to dispose of all the FIRs. The court has remarked that torching of school buildings was a national loss and is unacceptable to a civilized society. It is a crime against humanity as it means denying the student community their right to education.
We appreciate the decision of the DB asking the police authorities to submit a status report within a limited time and also give the details of the school structures that will have to come up afresh. The court has given four weeks time to the Deputy Inspector General of Police to furnish updated status report of all school structures that will come up with their plan. However, the sad part of the story is that the police have not done its home work as is expected of them. The culprits should be apprehended and brought to book. That is what the court means by saying that the matter cannot go un-investigated.