The Jammu and Kashmir school education department on Thursday issued a circular directing all schools in the Union territory to begin their morning assemblies with a recitation of the national anthem, reported PTI.

“Morning assembly should begin with the national anthem as per standard protocol,” said the circular issued by the principal secretary to the school education department.

It added that morning assemblies in schools “have proved to be an invaluable ritual in instilling a sense of unity and discipline among the students”.

“They [assemblies] serve as platforms to nurture the values of moral integrity, shared community and mental tranquillity,” it said. “However, it has been observed that such a significant ritual/tradition is not being carried out uniformly across various schools of Jammu and Kashmir Union territory.”

The department asked the schools to organise discussions about the environment and student achievements, among other topics, to inculcate leadership qualities in students.

The circular has also asked teachers to discuss with students the autobiographies of freedom fighters, and to deliver “inspirational talks” to motivate students and set a “positive tone” reported the Hindustan Times.

The directive comes against the backdrop of four militant attacks in the Union territory since Sunday.

Prime minister holds review meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a review meeting of the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and asked security forces to utilise the “full spectrum” of India’s counter-terror capabilities to reign in the spate of attacks. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was in attendance.

On Wednesday evening, a gunfight between security forces and militants broke out in the Kota Top area of Gandoh in Doda district, Additional Director-General of Police Anand Jain said in a social media post. One security official was injured.

This was after two separate gunfights broke out between security forces and militants on Tuesday evening in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda and Kathua districts. In Kathua, two militants were killed in the gunfight in Saida Sukhal village.

One Central Reserve Police Force officer, Kabir Dass, who suffered bullet injuries in Kathua, died during medical treatment on Wednesday.

In Doda, a clash broke out between militants and security forces in the Chattergala area. The gunfight began after a checkpost manned by personnel from the 4 Rashtriya Rifles and the police was attacked. The gunfight was underway in the early hours of Wednesday.

The violence broke out two days after nine civilians were killed and 33 others injured in a militant attack on a passenger bus in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district on Sunday.