Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has blamed army-run schools for indoctrination of students in Kashmir Valley and said that these institutions are making children indifferent towards their religion and culture. The charge drew a sharp response from the ruling PDP’s alliance partner BJP.
Geelani urged parents to avoid these institutions. “For petty material gains, we are losing our next generation,” Geelani said in a statement on Friday and asked parents to keep a watch and be careful about their children’s future.
“We should never send our youth to these institutions as we need to see what education these institutions are imparting to our children,” he said in the statement.
“For the betterment of our youngsters, instead do seek admission in other institutions of your choice, run by prominent and well-known organizations,” he said.
Geelani expressed apprehension over reports of “mischievous activities” of the Goodwill institutions run by forces and said that “a nation pursuing freedom struggle can never make occupiers the custodian of their future generations.”
“They are killing, maiming and blinding us and how obsolete and obscure it is to trust these and handover our future to their custody,’’ Geelani said.
A large number of children from civilian areas attend the army-run schools. While most schools remained closed for six months due to unrest in 2016, army schools functioned normally.
Geelani’s statement drew an expected reaction from Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Kumar Singh on Saturday who lashed out at the hardliner for “spreading false propaganda” against army Goodwill schools in Kashmir of “indoctrinating” Kashmiri students under the “garb of quality education”.
“It is their tendency. They are the same people who burnt government schools. Their own children study in best of the institutions in foreign countries and elite schools like DPS. For the children of poor people for whom our army, police and other security forces have opened schools so that they too can progress and grow, they (separatists) pick holes and find faults,” Singh responded to media queries in Jammu on Saturday.
The deputy CM who is from the BJP recalled how separatists engineered trouble last year and torched government schools in Kashmir that caused loss of studies to the children for nearly five months.
To another query, he said Centre and state government are working in tandem and the situation will definitely be controlled in Kashmir.