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Indian government raids offices of a social welfare organization

On 20th September, the State Investigating Agency (SIA) raided the office of Falah-e-Aam (Welfare of All) Trust in the Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. This year, on June 14th, the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Department ordered cessation of academic activities in schools run by Falah-e-Aam. The schools, numbering more than 300, of this trust were a source of education for the poor sections of Kashmiri community, mostly located in peripheries and villages. The schools enabled the poor and lower middle class people to send their children for a quality education on minimal fees. The state authorities banned the academic activities in the school by claiming, without any evidential data, that the schools were led by Muslims of Kashmiri civil society who had sympathetic feelings towards the legitimate self-determination movement in Kashmir. Article 4 of the constitution of the trust specifies it as a “non-political” body dedicated to “education and service to mankind”. FAT today controls around 350 middle and high schools. Its officials maintain that close to 1 lakh students are enrolled and over 5k teachers engaged. The Indian state must not have the right to deny so many under-priveleged and destitute children the right to education, the right to food, and the right to a shelter above their heads.[11]

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