Re-opening Of Schools Is Nobody's Victory Or Defeat: CM27 September 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Disappointed at unnecessary media hype over the reopening of the educational institutions in the Kashmir valley, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today said, 'it is nobody’s victory and nobody’s defeat and we hope that separatists would cooperate with the Government in its efforts towards preventing loss of one academic year of Valley’s students instead of targeting them'. In an informal chat with the media-persons on the sidelines of a function at Government Medical College here this afternoon, the Chief Minister said, 'I was disappointed very much this morning to see OB vans parked outside schools. You were filming children being brought to schools. You were unnecessarily making targets out of children, where it should not have been done', he said, adding 'the moment media starts projecting this as somebody’s victory or somebody’s defeat, you are endangering the lives of the children more than anybody else'. 'Education is fundamental right of everybody and Government efforts are only aimed at restoring the same to the children of Kashmir valley, whose education suffered due to unrest during the past some months', he said while stressing that education should be conflict neutral. Mr Abdullah further said: 'we can rebuild any damaged infrastructure but will not be able to return one academic year of the students if they lose the same because of unrest. Though there was a mixed response to the reopening of the educational institutions yet it is a good beginning and I am hopeful that more students will start reaching their respective educational institutions to make up the loss of important days'. Stating that nobody can deprive the children of their fundamental right to education and Government was making all efforts to ensure safety of the students, the Chief Minister hoped that hardliner separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other separatists will cooperate with the Government instead of targeting the students. To a question, he said, 'reopening of schools is nobody’s defeat and nobody’s victory. It should be seen in right perspective. It will be ultimately the victory of those children, who lost important days of their current academic year due to the unrest'. About Syed Ali Shah Geelani rejecting the 8-point agenda of the Union Government, Mr Abdullah said, 'the package was not aimed at appeasing any particular person. It is a step towards resuming political dialogue, reach out to people, who have lost their kin and show them that Government stands by them in difficult times besides compensating the losses'. 'I am hopeful all the peace loving people would associate themselves with our initiative for the restoration of peace and normalcy in the Valley', he added. Earlier, addressing the inaugural function of Attendants’ Sarai Government Medical College, the Chief Minister lashed out at those trying to disturb peace in the State for petty political gains and vested interests and creating hurdles in the Government’s efforts towards redressing the grievances of the people. 'We had not made tall claims during the elections about resolving the Kashmir issue. We had sought votes from the people to resolve their day-to-day problems and we are leaving no stone unturned in this direction', he said, adding 'but some elements even don’t want us to provide succor to the people and continuously creating hurdles in our way'. Applauding the Jammu people for maintaining peace and communal harmony despite desperate attempts to fuel violence in this part of the State and create Valley like situation, the Chief Minister said, 'I hope people of Jammu will defeat such designs in future also and not allow any one to disturb peace and harmony in this part of the State'. Pointing towards the verdict to be pronounced by Allahabad High Court on Babri Masjid, Mr Abdullah said, 'people should be very cautious as some elements may try to disturb peace again in this sensitive State. As there are more doors, which can be knocked by any community aggrieved over the verdict of High Court, people should maintain calm'. About the voices of discrimination with Jammu and Ladakh region, he said, 'the all party delegation has not ignored any region of the State and such voices are only aimed at dividing the people of different regions'. While appreciating all those former and present legislators, who had contributed towards the construction of Attendants Sarai, Mr Omar said, 'as more people would arrive Jammu for treatment following opening of the super-speciality hospital here, we should start planning for construction of one more Sarai', adding 'we will again seek assistance from legislators irrespective of party affiliation in this regard'. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Medical Education, R S Chib said that super-speciality hospital would be completed by December this year and around 40 doctors have been sent outside the State for specialized training. 'I don’t have any hitch in admitting that we are facing shortage of infrastructure as well as manpower but continuous efforts are being made to overcome the shortcomings', he said while disclosing that recruitment process for 4133 recently sanctioned posts has been geared up. About the issue of Indira Gandhi Government Dental College students, Mr Chib said, 'the Government of India has found a way out to regularize the batches of 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 by giving one time exemption on the pattern of a College in Bihar', adding 'even new batches would also be recognized and Union Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad is pursuing our case before the concerned authorities'. About the demands of the Medical Teachers Association, he said, 'we will also provide them justice and the issue has already been brought to the notice of Chief Minister'. Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education, R K Jeerath, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Pawan Kotwal, Principal Government Medical College, Dr Rajinder Singh and MD Police Housing Corporation, Mohd Amin Shah were among others present on the occasion. The design of Attendants’ Sarai was prepared by renowned architect Ajay Mengi.