SHO suspended as police begin probe of Karachi's heritage site demolition

Published: April 10, 2017
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The building demolished on Saturday night was included in the list of protected heritage sites. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

The building demolished on Saturday night was included in the list of protected heritage sites. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: A day after unidentified persons demolished the heritage building of Jufel Hurst Government School, Inspector General of Sindh Police, Allah Dino Khawaja has nominated additional IG Aftab Pathan to inquire the matter.

The 86-year-old school was reduced to rubble on Sunday night as police played the role of spectator.

“We have to submit a report to the IG within three days for which we have to take eyewitnesses’ accounts,” Pathan said and added, “we have suspended the officer before beginning an investigation.”

Main building of public school in Karachi demolished

SHO Irshad Soomro was suspended after the principal said that he and other personnel were at the scene but did nothing when the building was being demolished.

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered after the Secretary Schools Education Department Abdul Aziz Uqaili requested the same in a letter to Sindh IG on Sunday. The principle building is a declared heritage site but the land mafia has been trying to get a hold of it to build a high rise for the last two years, he said.

Uqaili also visited site of the demolished building, saying work on the affected boundary wall, which is not part of the heritage site, had been started and that it will be rebuilt by Monday night. Other areas of the building which were part of the heritage site will be reconstructed keeping in view relevant laws, rules and regulations.

Meanwhile, a resolution was submitted in the Sindh Assembly by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) leaders Faisal Subzwari and Sardar Ahmad, demanding punishment for the culprits.

Jufelhurst school demolition: Controversy arises over inclusion of home in heritage list

Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra and Minister for Education and Literacy Department Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar also visited the school and assured officials that the culprits will be held accountable.

D’Abreo, a Goan-Portuguese Catholic woman, built the school on her own property and lived in it until she breathed her last 15 years ago. The compound of Jufelhurst School, which covered an area of 5,704 square-yards, is situated on Shahani Street near Gurumandir.

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