J&K Governor meets Rajnath, discusses reopening of schools
During the 30-minute meeting, Vohra briefed Singh on the prevailing situation in the sensitive state, whice has been witnessing unrest for more than 110 days.
Sources said the Home Minister and the Governor discussed how to facilitate reopening of the schools in Kashmir Valley which have remaind closed due to violence and strike called by separatists after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8. The issue of burning down of around 26 schools figured in the discussion, the sources said. Concerned over burning down of schools in Kashmir, the Centre has asked the Mehbooba Mufti government to check such attempts and make efforts for reopening the schools.
In a communication, the Home Ministry has conveyed to the Jammu and Kashmir government to ensure protection of schools, especially those which are vulnerable to attacks, and make all attempts for reopening all educational institutions across the Valley.
The central government is deeply concerned over these incidents and worried about the future of the children who are the worst sufferers due to the prolonged turmoil in the state, a senior Home Ministry official said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also said to be worried that the closure of educational institutions for such a long period is affecting thousands of students and feels that if schools reopen, it would be a great step towards restoring normalcy in Kashmir, officials said.
Sources said the assessment of security forces is that radical forces are trying to force children in rural areas to join religious schools or madrassas and not opt for modern education so that youngsters could be radicalised easily.
Amid outrage over increasing number of schools being burnt in the Valley, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court yesterday stepped in, directing police and civil administration to ensure their protection besides unmasking the “mysterious enemies of education” and deal with them with an “iron hand”.
Vohra also conveyed to Singh the steps taken to bring normalcy in the state as well as situation along the border which has seen incessant firing from Pakistani troops. Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation along the Indo-Pak border where eight civilians were killed and 22 injured due to Pakistani shelling and two Pakistani soldiers killed after Indian forces retaliated.
The meeting, attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and other top officials, took stock of the situation along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.