As fear grips municipal committee school students and teachers, the Rawalpindi police seem to be unmoved and reluctant to take any action against the moral brigade who attacked a girls school last week and thrashed and terrorised students and teachers.
The police have refused to register an FIR against the seminary students who attacked Municipal Committee Girls’ School in Satellite Town on Friday last.
The Station House Officer (SHO) of the New Town Police Station Ijaz Hussain Shah when contacted by The Express Tribune, justified the ‘barbaric’ act. According to him it was not an offence as the masked men were protesting the conviction of the assassin of the Punjab Governor.
“They also attacked other educational institutions,” he insisted.
SHO Shah did not make any comment on why the police were reluctant to take any action against the ‘moral brigade’ who were involved in attacking the educational institutions.
“We have identified the culprits but we can’t take any action against them,” said a police official requesting not to be named. “We have been instructed by the higher ups not to take any action against them,” he said. It was also learnt that the district administration has asked the school teachers not to share the incident’s details with the media.
The school administration confirmed that the Punjab government has not taken notice of the incident so far. They said that only 24 out of 834 girl students attended the school on Monday after the attack last week.
An official of a nearby seminary, ‘Ziaul Aloom’, admitted that some of their students were involved in similar activities and had been strictly warned to refrain from such acts. “They will not create trouble in future,” he assured.
Sixty masked men carrying iron rods barged into the Municipal Commity Girls High School and thrashed students and teachers on Friday, when the city was virtually under the control of religious groups and seminary students who were protesting conviction of the assasin of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.
According to witnesses the gang warned the students and 30 teachers to “dress modestly and wear hijabs.”
Talking about the incident majority of the teachers said it was a daunting task for them to remove the fear from the traumatised students as well as teachers.
A large number of students approached the school administration through their parents, informing them that they would not attend classes for some days, said a teacher at the MC Girls Model High School.
“My daughter Madeeha Durrani, a student of class 8, refused to go to school as she feared the masked men could attack again,” said Muhammad Aftab Najmi who teaches at the MC Boys Model High School. Najmi stated that he was thrashed by the men while in the classroom. “They broke my glasses and snatched books from me and the students threatening us of dire consequences.” Relating details of the untoward incident, the teachers said it was a horrible day with students crying and rushing out of the school in fear.
The MC High Schools in-charge through a notification asked the heads of all girls’ schools to take pre-emptive measures to avoid such incidents in future.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2011.