Anantnag: A government school was set on fire today by unidentified people in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag. This is the third school to be burnt in the state since yesterday, and among the over 20 where arson has been reported in the last two months.
Fire at the higher senior secondary school broke out in the afternoon. It was doused by fire engines along with the help of locals, an official said.
A Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya school in Aishmuqam was also set on fire on Saturday night.
Officials said the cause of fire in both incidents has not been ascertained yet.
Schools in Kashmir valley have been closed due to a shutdown call by separatist groups. Dozens of schools are also still occupied by security forces brought here to contain the unrest, which began after the 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed on July 8.
So far, the efforts to reopen schools have failed as both government and separatist groups are accusing each other of playing politics over education. The separatists have been saying that children are not safe outside homes because most of the people killed and injured during unrest were students.
Opposition leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called for "strictest punishment" for the people behind the incidents and blamed both the government and separatist for "failing to speak up and act in time" to prevent such incidents.
"Robbing our children of their classrooms and of the prospects of academic growth is the greatest act of tyranny and oppression," the National Conference leader said.
Officials say more than 12 lakh students are unable to go to school for the last four months in Kashmir as the education has become a new flashpoint during current unrest.