October 2016 News

J&K Schools Shut, But Not The One Of Geelani's Kin

28 October 2016
Times of India
M Saleem Pandit

Srinagar: While separatists have ensured complete shutdown of the entire Valley for the last over three months, their own children and relatives continue to enjoy special entitlements with the help of the state government. Even as around two million students in Kashmir have been waiting for schools to reopen, the grand-daughter of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the daughters of another separatist leader Shabir Shah, along with other 570 students appeared in the internal exams of Kashmir's premier institute, Delhi Public School (DPS) Srinagar. Sources said, recently, Shabir Shah's wife Dr Bilques, managed to get a prime positing as a medical officer in Jammu and Kashmir medical supplies corporation on the recommendation of a BJP minister a month ago. Shah's wife was block medical officer Pattan, an area badly hit by the ongoing turmoil. Health department sources said the separatist's wife preferred a 'softer posting' in Srinagar. Dr. Naeem Geelani, the elder son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who lived in Pakistan for nearly 10 years along with his family, managed to get admission of his two children in DPS Srinagar on his return to India. His daughter was one of the 573 students who took the specially arranged exam by DPS. Sources said since the school was unable to conduct its term exams in July because of the protests, it was held in the first week of this month at an indoor stadium inside a high-security zone in the city with the assistance of the PDP-BJP coalition government. Vijay Dhar, who runs the school refused to comment on it. 'Yes, the granddaughter of Syed Ali Shah Geelani is studying in our school but I don't know whether she appeared in the internal assessment test of the school in first week of October or not,' he said. All educational institutions are closed across the Valley since the shutdown enforced by the joint resistance force, a conglomerate of several Hurriyat factions and JKLF outfit, in protest against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group has also asked people not to send their wards to schools and follow the Hurriyat protest calendar. So far over 20 schools have been set on fire by rioters instigated by the Hurriyat leaders. Kashmir university authorities were also warned against opening any department. Although Hurriyat Conference activists have been organizing protests against exams, Central University, Islamic University and Science and Technology University conducted exams and ferried their candidates in ambulances to avoid any attack by mobs, reports said. State authorities have decided to hold board exams for class 10th and 12th mid-November and arrange examination centres near residence of candidates to avoid risks, an official said.