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Blaze guts historic school in Srinagar

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | July 05, 2004 15:05 IST

A massive fire completely gutted the historic Islamia Higher Secondary School at Rajouri Kadal in downtown Srinagar in the wee hours of the morning.

The police said fire broke out early in the morning and engulfed the whole complex. Fire tenders that rushed to the spot were unable to bring the blaze under control till much damage had been done.

The Mirwaiz family built the school in 1889, during the rule of the Dogra maharajas, and which was only recently upgraded to the 10+2 level. The school also housed a library and laboratories.

The complex, situated in the heart of downtown Srinagar and near the headquarters of the Awami Action Committee of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, contained three buildings, all of which were destroyed in the conflagration.

As the news about the fire spread, bystanders began pelting stones on passing vehicles in protest. Shopkeepers in downtown Srinagar also shut their shops. Local authorities have beefed up security in the city.

The school is one of the oldest private schools in Jammu and Kashmir set up by the Mirwaiz family in the 19th century and which successfully held its own vis--vis the many missionary schools that came up at that time.

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