September 2017 News

HC Raps Police Over Pace Of Investigation In Schools' Torching

13 September 2017
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: The High Court today expressed serious concern and displeasure over the pace of investigation by the police on torching of schools and directed the Director General of Police to expedite the investigation as in one year only 2 percent of the investigation has been completed. The Division Bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said that torching of schools is crime against society and it can't be allowed to go uninvestigated. 'It (the burning of schools) is a crime. Those people are not only anti-nationals they are anti-Kashmiris. Burning of schools is not only a crime with regard to property but is a crime against society and against the people of the Valley and this cannot be allowed to be let uninvestigated and not taken to the logical conclusion and not getting the perpetrators and punishing them', court order said. Court directed the Director General of Police to expedite the investigation and take it to the logical conclusion. 'We find that the investigation is on very slow pace and, therefore, be brought to the notice of DGP so that the investigation be expedited and taken to the logical conclusion. The fresh status report with regard to this be furnished within 4 weeks', court directed After perusal of status report, court said that out of 49 FIRs which have been registered, only 4 challans have been produced before the court of law which means 2% of the investigation has been completed so far. 'The rest of the cases which is over 95% of the FIRs, the cases are either under investigation or have been denoted as untraced', read the order. Court has also directed the Government to update the status report in respect to the schools which fall under the district plan as Court has been informed that they are under preparation and it will be filed before the next date of hearing. It may be mentioned here that about 34 educational institutions were torched in 2016 unrest by the miscreants across the Valley and for speedy disposal, as well arrest of miscreants-accused involved in the commission of offences, Special Investigation Teams (SITs) have already been constituted by the SSPs, which are being monitored by the range of DIGs. The then Chief Justice of the State took suo-moto cognizance after news reports regarding the torching of educational institutions in the Valley. The court also sought norms of infrastructure with regard to all Government schools across the State. The court directed the Government through its Counsel B A Dar (AAG) to submit the norms about the infrastructure and other facilities which have to be made available in Government schools throughout the State. Court deferred the matter by one week at the request of State Counsel. 'Submit norms for primary, upper primary, middle, secondary and higher secondary schools', DB directed. Court directed the status report also indicate the norms which the private schools are required to fulfill before they are recognized by the Education department. 'As pointed out earlier, the report is also required for indicating as to how many schools are in compliance with the said norms and how many schools are deficiently working', DB recorded. Advocate Dar submitted that the communications have been sent to all the schools. Court directed him to submit the data before next date. 'However, for the purposes of indicating the norms that have to be followed, we defer the matter for next week i.e; 20.9.17', DB said.