45-year-old famed Khalsa school gutted in Srinagar

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Srinagar, Feb 24 (UNI) The historic Khalsa School in the heart of the city at Magarmal Bagh was gutted in a mysterious fire last evening, official sources said.

Established in early forties by members of the minority Sikh community, under Khalsa Educational Society (KES), has produced doctors, engineers, politicians, and other professionals.

It was one of the few premier institutions, set up in the valley before independence, which remained open for students of all faiths, a spokesman of the KES told UNI.

He said students from different parts of the valley, belonging to Muslim, Pandit, Sikh and other communities were studying in the school.

The spokesman said despite a 17-year-long turmoil, the school was functioning normally and students from all religions were studying.

However, the roll of students has come down to below 500 at present, he said.

He said the next session of the school was to start after winter vacation next month. But the building had suffered more than 85 per cent damage besides the record of the office has also been damaged, he said.

Nothing can be said on the cause of the accident, he said adding that wood was largely used in the construction of the building.

The building suffered extensive damage in the fire, sources added.

A spokesman of the Fire Services said more than a dozen fire tenders from different city stations were rushed to the area to control the leaping flames.

UNI BAS AM AS1307

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