Schools and banks in Jammu and Kashmir have become the favourite targets for terrorist groups. The Lashkar-e-Tayiba has been claiming that it is attacking schools and colleges as the authorities are not adhering the Hurriyat Conference's calendar of protests.
Banks are to do business only after 5 PM when there is relaxation as suggested by the Hurriyat posters by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba read.
The last time Kashmir witnessed such a scenario was in 1990s when militancy was at its peak. A breakdown of the number of schools targeted during the unrest which began on July 9 will give a clear indication of how bad the scenario is today.
23 schools burnt since July 2016:
- Over 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.
- Five schools were burnt in the last five days alone.
- 17 Govt middle, high & higher secondary schools have been burnt mysteriously during the unrest: Officials of the directorate of school education.
- Two prominent private schools were also been damaged in fires as Kashmir.
- In Anantnag, a high school & historic Hanfia School run by Wakf Board were gutted last month.
- CM Mehbooba Mufti, her father the late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed & NC Mirza Afzal Beg have been some of the alumni of the wakf-run institution.
- Of these, seven were reduced to ashes while 10 were damaged partially in the fire.
- Kulgam in South Kashmir has been the worst affected with five schools either completely burnt or partially damaged in fires.
- Three schools have been burnt in central Kashmir's Budgam district.
- The police have registered cases in all incidents but no one has been arrested so far.
Have the 1990s come back to haunt Kashmir?
In then 1990s nearly 5,000 schools were destroyed by militants. It had become impossible for children to reach schools. In several cases, children and teachers were forced out of the schools before the buildings were burnt.
It did take years to rebuild these schools. However all that hard work appears to have gone down the drain with a similar scenario being witnessed in the Valley today.
May 10, 1989- Lal Chowk, Srinagar, An explosive device planted at Bisco Memorial School causes extensive damage to the building.
March 17, 1990-Sonawar, Srinagar, An attempt is made to set ablaze Burn Halt School, affiliated to the local Catholic mission.
May 23, 1990-Lal Chowk, Srinagar, An explosive device is hurled into the compound of Bisco Memorial School. Unidentified terrorists also ask school authorities to impart Arabic/Islamic education to students.
November 11, 1990- Lal Chowk, Srinagar, Another explosion at Bisco Memorial School premises forces closure of Christian missions/schools.
February 23, 1991 -Lal Chowk, Srinagar, An explosion occurs near Miss Melanson Girls School.
July 5, 1992,-Lal Chowk, Srinagar, An explosion occurs at Bisco Memorial School.
July 24, 1993-Lal Chowk, Srinagar, Terrorists set fire to Bisco Memorial School hostel.