Self-Immolation: Sixth grader commits suicide outside school

Allegedly abused by his teacher at a government school in Faisalabad.


Shamsul Islam May 19, 2012

FAISALABAD:


A sixth grade student burnt himself to death on Friday after he was allegedly abused by his teacher at a government school in Faisalabad.


Eleven-year-old Muhammad Umar, a student of the MC High School Yaseen Abad, was reportedly tortured at the hands of his teacher, Masood Siddiqui, after being absent for two days. The teacher asked him to bring his father to the school if he wanted to attend classes. However, Umar’s father, Khalid, refused to accompany him to school.

The schoolboy then sprinkled kerosene oil over his body and set himself on fire in front of his school on Friday morning.

He was admitted to the Allied Hospital in critical condition; however, he was pronounced dead Friday night.

Burns Ward In charge Dr Nagra said that Umar, his parent’s only son, had received burn injuries over 90% of his body. Following the incident, authorities of the Education Department immediately suspended the accused schoolteacher as well as the headmaster.

EDO Education Sohaib Imran, however, said that Umar was an irregular student, who had a habit of slipping away from the school without any reason.

“I issued suspension orders of schoolteacher Masood Siddiqui and headmaster Ghulam Fareed with immediate effect. A committee has also been constituted to probe the matter,” he said, but added that the incident was not the schoolteacher’s fault. “The boy became disappointed when his father denied accompanying him to school.”

During the day, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also took notice of the incident and directed the health department as well as the DCO Faisalabad to take all appropriate measures to save the life of the schoolboy.

DCO Faisalabad Naseem Sadiq said that if the school administration is found guilty, they would be dealt with an iron hand.


Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2012.

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