LAMKA, October 14: Unidentified miscreants gutted the St Peter School located at Vengnuam New Lamka late last night around 11:40 pm.
The headmaster of the school who is also the proprietor Nenglianlal Ngaihte resides in the school campus with his family and some boarders of the school.
On being asked of the incident, he said `I was unaware of the fire as there was no electricity and it was late, however, some of our neighbours woke us up.`
`By the time I woke up and went out, the fire was already in an advance stage and unstoppable,` he claimed.
He also said that this means that the movement in the State has often taken its toll on the student communities, be it in the hills or in the valley.
This is a big concern for the parents as schools had re-opened only a few days back on October 5 in Churachandpur against much opposition from some students who had infact showed their opposition by staging dharnas against the decision of the JAC to re-open schools, he rued.
At the same time, it is a hard time for the police as well, with the head master saying that he had no clue or reason to suspect anyone.
He said `As far as I am concerned the students and my staff have no grudge or reason to do this to me nor I know of anyone who could do it.`
Meanwhile, many people are of the view that the act was perpetrated by those who didn`™t want the schools to re-open not necessarily those who are staging the so called `student movement.`
The school`™s headmaster also said that his students were not involved in the movement and that when the supporters of the movement had come asking him to close down the school he had talk nicely stating that he was only following the wish of the JAC and that he was not against the movement following which the supporters left peacefully.
`Nothing can be rule out but I had no reason or evidence to point finger to anyone as of now,` he said.
The Churachandpur police have registered an FIR against unknown miscreants.
Meanwhile, eye witnesses of the fire have said that considering the intensity of the fire, it seems well-planned.
Six class rooms (of class VI to X) were damaged while locals managed to control the fire before it could extend to the other rooms.
Meanwhile, the YPA led a mass social work with more than 500 people started constructed benches and desk with the hope that classes may resume again within a week.
Schools under the Churachandpur District Private School Association located within the Lamka Town remained closed today in solidarity with the inhuman act of burning the school.
The association also held an emergency meeting and issued a condemnation stating that it condemns the `cowardly and heinous act of arson`™ in the strongest term.
It further demanded a clarification for the act.
The association also appealed to the right thinking citizens and social organisation of the district to condemn the despicable act and ensure that such efforts are not repeated in the future and for the district administration and concerned authorities to take proper steps to book the culprits and deliver justice.
`The CDPSA appeal to one and all to refrain from targeting any educational institution for taking out their anger and grievance in the future` statement issued by the info and publications CDPSA concluded.
Condemnations of the arson have also poured in from different organisations with the Kuki Students`™ Association Churachandpur, Zomi Students`™ Federation GHQ, Hmar Students`™ Association Joint Headquarter issuing a joint statement stating that they are shaken to learn the insufficient at St Peter School last night which they aid is the temple of learning adding that the three student bodies condemned and asked the perpetrator not to repeat such act in future and asked the concerned authority to take necessary steps to apprehend the culprits at the earliest.
It further continued by saying `last but not the least the student bodies appealed to all the concerned to make educational institutions a free and safe zone as they are a temple of learning for students who are the pillar of our future`.
The information and publicity secretary of MARC-CCpur Lalboi Gangte on this arson act of attack on the temple of learning.
It said that the MACR-Churachandpur condemned the attack on educational institution which had hurt the interest of the child/student and asked the perpetrators to stop hurting the interest of children which he said is more like rubbing a salt on wounds of the student who were deprived of going to school in the past month which the MACR-Churachandpur said hurt the future of the children and appeal for respect of educational institutions.
The MACR-Churachandpur has also urged the authority to increase their vigilance as this latest act may not be the last which was also echoed by many individuals and owner or administrator of different educational institutions.