Mon, 20 May, 2019

Acts Of Terrorism In Schools Are Unjustifiable

By Sushil Awale

  On September 20, the anniversary of the promulgation of Nepal’s new constitution, the residents in Kathmandu Valley woke up to the morning news of pressure cooker bombs detonating in two schools inside the valley. Fortunately, the bombs exploded in early hours (around 4 am) of the day causing no human fatalities but the news certainly injected fear and terror into the minds of teachers, parents and their children who go to school. Following the incident, UNICEF condemned the act of terror in a press release and urged the perpetrators to keep themselves in the shoes of the children. The statement read that the incident could have been traumatic for the children, and criticized the political parties for failing to commit to the declaration of schools as Zone of Peace. It has been more than five years since the Cabinet declared schools as Zone of Peace but still, time and again, political parties and unions target schools and schoolchildren to meet their political ends. Tuesday's bombings were conducted by two ex-combatants of the Maoist Communist Centre led by Debendra Thapa and was motivated by their vested interest. In a similar incident in July, a school bus was torched in Dallu. These acts of terror in school premises are unjustifiable and are violating the students' right to study in a peaceful and safe environment. Students are already facing many problems in the country with regards to the studying environment such as power cuts, sound pollution and these kinds of terror acts inflict more psychological trauma. Moreover, it is not only the students but their parents as well who have to deal with added pressure of concern over the students' security. And, then there are the school authorities who have to take up the responsibility of the students. After Tuesday's bombings, some schools were closed whereas some remained open and resumed classes. The fact that these events took place on the eve of International Day of Peace is saddening and also detrimental to the image of Nepal's government. More importantly, that day marked the anniversary of the promulgation of Nepal's new constitution. And, the day that should have projected a bright future of Nepal was marked with terror and attacked the very institution which is producing personnel to build the future of Nepal.