With the arrest of five alleged stone-pelters, police on Thursday claimed to have solved a case of burning down of a government school in Kashmir. The Valley has witnessed a series of incidents in which the educational institutes were set ablaze over the last few months.
Five youth allegedly involved in setting ablaze a government middle school at Tapper village of Pattan, about 30 kms from here, on Srinagar-Baramulla national highway were arrested while search is on for their two other associates, a police spokesman said.
He said the school building was set ablaze in the wee hours of 27 October. "During the investigation it surfaced that the conspiracy regarding the incident was hatched at the medical shop of one Ajaz Ahmad Parra, the spokesman said.
"Ajaz Parra along with Omar Parra alias 'Omar Kasaie', Shabir Pandit alias 'Bulbul' and Bashir Ahmad Hajam were involved in the conspiracy aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear and to ensure that schools continue to remain closed," the spokesman said.
He said they had arranged petrol, stored it in plastic bottles and gave the same to Naveed Ahmad alias 'Naba Tension', Adil Ahmad Parra and Usman alias 'Babloo' - all residents of Tapper, "executed their plan and set the school building on fire" at around 1.30 am.
"These individuals, who are known stone pelters and are wanted in many stone-pelting cases, had kept some of the petrol bottles in an apple orchard for creating the panic in future by burning the vehicles and other government buildings," the spokesman said.
Except Naveed and Usman, all the accused were arrested and at their instance some petrol bottles were recoverd from an apple orchard near Tapper, the spokesman said, adding efforts are on to nab the absconding persons. Kashmir has witnessed a series of incidents in which schools were mysteriously burnt down over the last few months.
Jammu and High Court took suo motu cognizance of this trend and asked the state government to take steps to prevent such incidents and "unmask" to culprits.
Twenty six schools have torched down in Kashmir — at least one school damaged in all 10 districts of the region — in separate cases of arson in the Valley over a span of three months. There has been a gradual increase in the number of these events and on Friday, ANI reported that fire broke out in another government school.
J&K: Fire breaks out in Govt primary school in Ganderbal, damaging makeshift kitchen & school building partially; fire has been doused now.
— ANI (@ANI_news) November 4, 2016
With inputs from PTI.