Kurram erupts in protest after massacre

Funeral prayers for the slain teachers, drivers offered in Parachinar

Mehdi Hussain May 06, 2023
Highly enraged residents of Upper Kurram stage a protest against the killing of eight people in Kurram tribal district. Photo: Express


Widespread protests, which erupted on Thursday in Kurram tribal district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) against the killing of eight people including five schoolteachers, continued on Friday as local residents took to the streets and demanded strict action against those responsible for the heinous crime.

All the main markets, schools, colleges and government offices and courts remained closed in protest against the grisly incident which sent a shockwave across the district which has a history of sectarianism dating back to British times.

Despite the fact that the district administration claimed that the murder of seven teachers inside a government school was the outcome of a personal enmity, the killing of Shia schoolteachers further increased the sectarian tension in the region as local residents rejected the claim of the district administration, which said that the attack was not sectarian-motivated.

The incident happened when a man was killed in firing on a vehicle. After the incident, armed men entered a government school in Upper Kurram and killed seven inside the staff room. Initially it was reported that all were schoolteachers but later two of them turned out to be drivers.

The attackers fired at them and used axes in the brutal murder.

Teachers and health employees staged protests and courts also remained closed across the district.

In Alizai female teachers also brought out a protest rally against the attack.

The funeral prayers of slain schoolteachers was offered at main Imambargah in Parachinar after Friday prayers and was attended by thousands of people.

The mob later took the bodies with them and staged a huge protest. They said that it was an act of terrorism but the government was trying its level best to classify the incident as a personal feud.

Kurram Deputy Commissioner Saiful Islam has ordered closure of all public and private schools in the district for five days.

Kohat Board of Elementary and Secondary Education also postponed the Matric examination till further orders in the district.

The deputy commissioner said that it was an incident of property dispute between two rival groups which resulted in bloodshed, adding that soon the culprits would be brought to justice.

It may be mentioned here that K-P Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan Thursday sought report of the brutal murder of seven schoolteachers in Kurram.

He took notice of the incident and directed district administration as well as police to submit a report in this connection. The chief minister expressed his sorrow over the loss of precious human lives, saying that targeting teachers inside a government school were indeed a tragic incident.

In a press statement issued here he directed police to arrest those responsible for the heinous crime.

He observed that those who want to take law in their own hand will be punished and no one will be allowed to create law and order situation in the district.

He also directed the police to take steps to protect the lives of innocent people.

He also expressed his grief over the martyrdom of six army men in Waziristan and said that the security forces were at the forefront of sacrificing their lives for the motherland.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2023.


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