KATHMANDU, Sept 20: Stakeholders have lamented the frequent strikes and terrorist attacks targeting schools carried out by political organizations to fulfill their vested interests.
Explosive devices were set off at two private schools in Kathmandu Valley in the name of the Young Communist Force and the All Nepal Independent Student Center on Tuesday, and suspect devices were planted at seven more private schools in the Valley.
The stakeholdres are greatly worried by such terrorist activities carried out against schools, which have been deemed a zone of peace. All the political parties manipulated the education sector in the past, either shutting them dowm or terrorizing them, to fulfill their vested interests, they said. “The political parties should be held responsible.”
“This is a kind of threat to humiliate the sector and promote their vested political interests,” said Suprabhat Bhandari, president of the Guardians Association Nepal. “It is a henious crime that did not occur even during the conflict period,” he added. “They should follow the democratic way to have their demands addressed, and show respect for the spirit of human rights.”
“We condemn such inhuman activities,” he said adding, “We also want the government to take legal action against the culprits.”
Educationist Biddhya Nath Koirala said that such activities are a strategy for the political organizations. “If they have the guts, they should attack the government and the security forces instead of atacking civilians, schools and children,” he said.
Koirala argued that the attackers might have tried to win sympathy by attacking private schools which are oriented toward earning money. “They are also prone to threaten schools for donations, resorting to this kind of action as other student unions did in the past,” he added.
Sudip Sharma, spokesperson of All Nepal National Free Student Union which is affiliated to the CPN-UML, said that the bomb attack on the schools on Tuesday were criminal acts. “It was to threaten the schools for donations,” he said, admitting that other student unions in the past called strikes in the education sector out of their political aim of changing the system. “However, that is not the situation now.”
DK Dhungana, general secretary of the Parivate Schools Organization Nepal, said that it was a serious design for pressing vested interest. “They might have been bargaining for a certain purpose,” he said, indicating that it was presure from petty groups. “We have asked the government and the Ministry of Education (MoE) to take necessary action against such crime.”
Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, secretary at MoE, said the government would study the problem. “It will take necessary action at the appropriate time,” he claimed. “The educaion sector should not be interrred with out of any political interest.”