Police today claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough in the mysterious blaze of schools, particularly in South Kashmir by identifying 35 people "found involved in burning of schools" while arresting 21 of them.
"Around a dozen persons have been arrested since last week in Kulgam district while as arrests have also been made in Anantnag and Shopian districts in connection with burning of schools ," Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police South Kashmir Range- Nitesh Kumar told media persons.
He said 35 persons found involved in burning of schools have been identified of whom 21 have so far been arrested. "The arrested persons have been booked for arson of schools," said DIG.
He said efforts are on to nab the other culprits who are still at large. "We will get them soon and within few days all the faces will be unveiled"
"20 other persons are also under detention and are being questioned," the DIG revealed.
He said a Special Investigating Team (SIT) has been formed and further investigations are underway to ascertain all the facts.
"We are making it sure that only real culprits are bought to book and not any innocent person whose name might have surfaced during investigations," Kumar said.
He said some people involved in arson have fled to Jammu and Chandigarh too. "We have deputed a special team to arrest these culprits," he said.
DIG South Kashmir further informed that the civil society in South Kashmir is also "cooperating" with them in this regard.
Meanwhile, Kumar said that all the Senior Superintendents of Police (SSP) across South Kashmir have been directed to strengthen the security across South Kashmir.
Over 25 schools, most of them state run have been set ablaze by unknown persons in the valley since September evoking serious concern within the ranks of state government, opposition, civil societies and separatists.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday also took suo moto cognizance of the burning of schools and directed the state government to take all preventive measures to save school buildings from burning by "mysterious enemies of education."