The trust running a famous school, Madras-e-Taleem-ul-Islam in Tral has decided to sell off a century-old building it is housed in ostensibly to generate funds for building a religious school for women, angering a whole host of its accomplished alumni.
The MTI is considered an institution that laid the foundations of modern education for Muslims in Tral, and the heritage building has remained an iconic structure in the area for long.
But, ignoring the concerns of many an alumnus of the school that include scholars, doctors, professors, bureaucrats and writers, the trust has decided to sell the inspiring building to a shopkeeper who plans to destroy it and make a commercial complex in its place.
Founded by late Maulana Noor-ud-Din Trali, MTI was established in Tral-i-Payeen to educate Muslims of the area who lagged behind Pandits.
"I still remember it was Noor Sahib who shone the light inside this building and spread education to thousands of people. The building is very much like a shrine and we can't see it gone," said a teary eyed retired officer, Mohammad Hussain, an alumni of MTI, adding the trust could raise money from donations instead of selling the heritage building for dfestruction.
The trust administration, led by Maulana Noor Ahmad, son and successor of Maulana Noor-ud-Din Trali made announcements regarding selling of the school building during two Friday sermons at the Masjid.
"The deal is done and we can't break it now," said Noor Ahmad.
"We need money because we are looking to construct a building for Banat (religious school for women)."
Locals say before the school was established hardly any Muslim was educated in southern Tral area and only Pandits could land jobs like teachers, medical science, writing and others.
Many say they had to request Pandits living the area for even having their letters read.
"This building is like a shrine for us and we should preserve it. I wonder how the administration (of the trust) sold it. The building would have remained a source of inspiration for our future generations," said general secretary civil society, Tral Mohammad Ashraf Wani.
Many also expressed their anger on selling the building off on social media.
"Blunder, very sad to hear about the sale of such a memorable structure. Ask it from an Aligarian if he comes to know about the sale of AMU," a young boy, Tufayl Kar wrote on Facebook.