The Government Middle School in Sadrukote Bala of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district was set on fire on Monday night, becoming the 19th government school in the Valley to be burnt since protests began in Kashmir following the killing Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July.
Fire tenders were rushed in and the blaze was put out, the official said, adding the incident is suspected to be handiwork of miscreants.
Meanwhile, police have registered cases in all the incidents, but no arrests have been made so far.
In the past three-and-a-half months of unrest in the Valley, almost every district has witnessed arson of a school. Five schools were set ablaze in the past five days alone, setting alarm bells ringing among authorities who have decided to step up security around educational institutions.
The building of eight high schools, seven middle and primary schools, three higher secondary schools, and one Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya have been damaged so far. Officials said that more than 5,000 students are enrolled in these schools.
The official said in view of these incidents, the security patrol around school buildings have been increased to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.
State government has announced that annual board examinations will be held next month even though the schools have remained closed since July following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces.
Protests have been held against the government decision to hold examinations.
All educational institutions in Kashmir have been shut down for the past three months due to the unrest and shutdown call by the separatist leadership.