NEW DELHI -- Muzzafar Wani, father of Hizbul commander Burhan whose killing sparked unrest in Kashmir, on Tuesday expressed "deep pain" over the burning down of schools in the Valley and made a fervent appeal to those behind it to refrain from targeting educational institutions.
Muzzafar Wani, a retired government teacher, told PTI over phone from his residence in Tral of South Kashmir that "as a teacher, whenever a school is burnt down, my heart is set on fire."
"This is not right. Whosoever is responsible for this is doing no good to the society. A society without any education is lifeless. They do not have any identity," Wani said and made it clear that he was making this statement as a teacher and not as any leader.
"My appeal to all people as well as 'agencies' is that whoever is doing this is not doing the correct thing. For God's sake, please refrain from such acts because education is the only thing which will help us in becoming good humans," he said.
Over 25 educational institutions have been burnt by miscreants in the Kashmir Valley since 9 July, a day after Burhan was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir.
"This is not right. Whosoever is responsible for this, it's not right. It will be lifeless without any education and, therefore, whosoever is indulging in such acts is doing no good to the society," he said.
Asked about forced closure of educational institutions in the Valley following the prolonged unrest, Wani said, "I am pained that the children are being deprived of education."
"People are coming out themselves, I am not responsible for it. When Burhan Wani was killed, I had appealed that there should be a day's strike but there is no control on the situation as of now".
However, he also held the state and Central government responsible for the situation saying that they are not coming out with any initiative to bring an end to the unrest.
"This the government should have thought. There is no initiative from the government. Police excesses are increasing every day. There should be some initiative from the state as well as Central governments."
"People will cooperate only when there is some kind of seriousness (from the government side). This unrest is not liked by many," he said.
The issue of burning down of educational institutions came under legal scrutiny on Monday when Jammu and Kashmir High Court took a suo motu cognisance of news report about burning down of schools in the Valley.
The High Court directed police and civil administration to ensure the protection of the institutions besides unmasking the "mysterious enemies of education" and deal with them with an "iron hand".
Also on HuffPost India.