Omar slams enemies of enlightment, says don't "rob our children"

| Updated: Oct 31, 2016 19:39 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Oct 31 (ANI): Expressing disappointment and grief over three schools set on fire in last 24 hours in Jammu and Kashmir, former chief minister Omar Abdullah cornered the Hurriyat leaders and said this is a verdict on the incompetence and inaction of the state government. "Every new, tragic and saddening news of a gutted school is a verdict on the incompetence and inaction of the State Government. We also hope Hurriyat leaders gather the courage to say the right thing at the right time and don't allow the street to dictate their agenda and their sense of right and wrong," Abdullah said. "You cannot aspire for the moral lecterns of self-righteous leadership without having the courage of your conviction to call a spade a spade. Persecuting your own people cannot be portrayed or disguised as alleged resistance based on a political cause. Robbing our children of their classrooms and of the prospects of academic growth is the greatest act of tyranny and oppression," he added. The National Conference present held both the administration and Hurriyat leadership responsible for failing to speak up and act in time to prevent such incidents. Stating that schools hold the key to the self-reliance, dignity and empowerment of the future generations, Abdullah said the assault on schools is an assault on the children, their future and their dreams. "These are clear, unambiguous attempts to rob our children of education and intellectual growth and there can be no doubt that these elements who attack our schools are the enemies of our children and the enemies of enlightenment," he said. Stressing on the fact that the administration is responsible for protecting the education infrastructure, he said they should take the sternest possible action against those elements that are found guilty of arson. "Schools are centers of learning and enlightenment and an attack on the schools is an attack on our collective dignity and self-respect and will not be tolerated at any cost," he added. A government school was yesterday set on fire by unidentified people in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag. This is the third school to be burnt in the state since yesterday. (ANI)