The High Court Wednesday pulled up state government for tardy investigation in the burning of schools during the unrest that started after the killing of HM militant commander, Burhan Muzafar Wani, in 2016.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a division bench of chief justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed from the status report filed by state that out of 49 registered FIRs challans were produced in 4 cases only.
“From the status report with respect to cases registered in school burning, we find that only in 2 percent of the cases has investigation been completed. Four of the cases have been closed as they were accidental. In other words, 96 percent FIRs of the cases are either under investigation or denoted as untraced,” Justice Durrez said.
The court said that the progress in investigation is highly unsatisfactorily. Justice Durrez said, “Burning of schools is crime against people of valley and can’t be left without catching the perpetrators.”
The court said that the investigation is going at slow pace. “Let the investigation be taken to logical conclusion,’’ he said. As per the report filed before the court, nearly three dozen schools were burnt down during the uprisings of 2016. On the previous hearing, while observing the photographs of the schools, the state was also told to give details about the infrastructure of schools damaged across Kashmir.
The High Court said, “Infrastructure should be provided to primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary schools. Isn’t there any norm regarding the infrastructure?” State government in its plea submitted before the court that schools lack infrastructure due to the paucity of funds.
The court also directed the norms over the infrastructure development be framed and asked the state counsel that the matter be taken up with Commissioner Secretary Education. The Court directed that a status report be filed indicating the norms required by the private schools for recognition. It sought the report about the schools which follow the norms.
Counsel for the state sought more time from the Court for over spelling out the norms for infrastructure development of the primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary schools.