School gutted in mysterious fire in north Kashmir

Panchayat Ghar, automobile shop torched

Bandipora: A school building was gutted in a fire in Bandipora district of Kashmir, taking the number of schools damaged during the ongoing unrest in the Valley to 32, a police official told news agency CNS.

“A fire broke out in old building of Government High School (which housed a primary school) at Saudinara in Bandipora district last night,” Official said. He said fire tenders were rushed to the spot but could not save the building from being destroyed.

Police said it has taken cognizance of the incident and started investigation to ascertain the cause of fire. As many as 32 schools have been targeted by unknown persons since the unrest began in Kashmir on July 8 following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen popular commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with government forces in South Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir High Court last week took suo moto cognisance of the incidents and directed the state government to ensure that the schools are protected.

Police a few days back claimed that it arrested few protesters involved in burning of schools in Kulgam and Baramulla, however family members of those youth accused police of framing them in false cases.

Meanwhile, arsonists on Friday night attempted to torch a building of Panchayat ghar in Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Reports said that windows of the building suffered minor damage in the fire. They said that the building, located some four kilometres from Chadoora, was saved due to timely action of locals.

Meanwhile, reports said that a petrol bomb was hurled at a boutique in main chowk Chadoora on Thursday. They said that the boutique suffered minor damage in the fire, which was doused by locals.

Reports from Palhalan area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district said that unknown persons torched a shop of automobile mechanic Farooq Ahmed and Talib Ahmed. A police official said that a case has been registered in this regard. (CNS)

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