HC directs rebuilding of torched schools

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Dec 31: The High Court today directed the Government to rebuild 39 schools that were torched during the unrest and Inspector General of Police informed the court that 47 persons were arrested for torching the schools out of whom 33 have been bailed out.
Division Bench of Justice MH Attar and Justice Alok Aradhe while hearing a suo moto cognizance taken by the Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar about burning down of educational institutions directed the Government to immediately rebuild these institutions.
“In the aforesaid background we direct the respondents to take immediate steps for reconstruction of the schools which have been burnt down or damaged”, court directed and sought fresh compliance report in this behalf from concerned authorities before the next date.
Inspector General of Jammu Kashmir Police Kashmir Range in his latest status report informed the High Court that out of 47 arrested persons who were involved in burning down of educational institutions in the recent unrest, 33 have been bailed out by the competent courts.
Giving the details of accused persons who have applied for the bail before the competent Court of law and have been bailed out by these courts in various districts, IGP said: “In Srinagar 4 persons have applied for the bail in the Court of district and sessions court Srinagar and all the 4 have been bailed out. In district Court Budgam 3 persons applied for the bail and all the 3 have been bailed out.”
“In district court Ganderbal, 3 persons have applied for the bail and 2 have been granted bail. In district court Baramulla, 7 persons have applied and all have been bailed out. In district Anantnag, 4 persons have applied for bail and all the 4 persons have been granted bail by the court. In district Kulgam, 6 persons applied for bail and all obtained bail and in district Shopian, 8 persons applied for bail and 7 granted bail by the court”, IGP said.
Court asked State Counsel that how many bail orders has the State challenged in torching of the schools case to which he replied that the bail orders in 39 schools torching case have been passed recently.
IGP Kashmir, in his latest status report, submitted that 3 more arrests were affected from mid December making the total number of arrested persons involved in school burnings to 47 and among them 42 are adults and 5 are juvenile. He has further stated that 19 dossiers have been submitted to concerned District Magistrates for issuance of warrants under PSA and 10 warrants received as also executed.
Observing that the education is not relevant only for present times but it has been relevant for the human beings from the advent of human history. Court further said that the illiteracy breeds ignorance and illiterate people are susceptible to all kinds of exploitations.
Court emphasized on the people of the State to ensure at their level that the educational institutions in their areas are protected. “Like water and air, education is an essential component of human life. For moral, spiritual and material development of a human being, education is of utmost importance”, the DB observed.
The DB also reiterated that the court in these proceedings has shown its deep concern over the burning down of the educational institutions in different parts of the Kashmir valley and in order to ensure that educational institutions are protected from being vandalized or damaged or burnt down, issued directions from time to time.
IGP has also submitted that the police supervisory officers and patrolling parties are as per roaster continuing 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 the covert arrangements have also been worked out in order to receive the advance inputs about the nefarious designs of the mischief mongers”, the report read.
Court has also been informed that the 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 culprits involved to award exemplary punishment in their favour.