Over the past three months, the Hurriyat Conference, a group of Pakistan-sponsored Islamist leaders in Kashmir, lead by ring-master Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has been issuing ‘bandh calendar’ for schools and businesses in the valley. These calendars outline the schedule for the day, from the time for prayers to the stratagem for intimidation of local administration and stone-pelting.
Students in the valley have remained at the receiving end since the ongoing unrest began following the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani, commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. Government and private schools across the valley have remained shut for 111 consecutive days, with the Hurriyat refusing to exempt them from its protest calendar. Over 20 schools in the valley have been burnt down in the last three weeks, by men known to have close links with the Hurriyat.
Amidst the shutdown, a private school in the valley which is known to have children and grandchildren of various separatist leaders as students, organised its term exams. Daughter of Geelani’s eldest son, Dr Nayeem Zafar Geelani, appeared for the exam at an indoor stadium under stringent security arrangements. For the record, no such ‘relaxation’ was provided to any other school in the valley.
Talking to the Indian Express, Dr Nayeem said:
Once the school decided to hold the internal exams, it was mandatory for my daughter, like other students, to appear as they carried a weightage of 70 per cent marks. If my daughter had skipped the exams, she wouldn’t have been able to sit for the final exams scheduled for next March.
For Geelani, the future of his granddaughter is more important than the future of thousands of students in the valley who have not attended school for the past three months.
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