Pen or gun: Teachers on the prowl for an easy buck

Police say they have apprehended several robbers claiming to be teachers in the last week

Akbar Bajwa July 17, 2015
Police say they have apprehended several robbers claiming to be teachers in the last week. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: In dealing with criminal activity on the rise in the days leading up to Eidul Fitr, police said among those apprehended were school and college teachers.  

In the last week of Ramazan, Allama Iqbal Town police division arrested at least five robbers, including a woman, three of whom were teachers and two college students.

A week ago, Gulshan-i-Ravi police stopped a man on a motorcycle at a picket. He was carrying groceries and said he was taking them home.

When he was frisked, police found a licensed pistol, four mobile phones and three wallets. They took him into custody as a man had recently been robbed at gunpoint in the area.

The suspect, Muhammad Waqar, 35, an English language teacher and a resident of Samanabad confessed during the interrogation that he had been robbing people at gunpoint for a while and had committed four robberies, Iqbal Town SP Muhammad Iqbal Khan said.

Waqar told police that he used to work as an assistant professor at MAO College’s English Language Department but his contract expired a few months ago and had not been renewed. Waqar said he had also taught at several English language teaching academies but had failed to find a job during Ramazan.

He said it had become impossible to provide for himself and his parents. Waqar said he was unmarried and lived with his parents in Samanabad’s N-Block. Police said they had caught him immediately after his fourth robbery attempt.

Police have registered an FIR against him under sections pertaining to robbery and is in physical remand for further interrogation, police officials said.

In another incident, two students of intermediate level and their woman teacher were caught trying to rob a man in Allama Iqbal Town on Wednesday. Police said Rehan and Haroon studied at a local academy and were on their way to rob a friend of their teacher’s, when they ran into patrolling police and were caught.

Iqbal Town SP Khan said that the students and the teacher had confessed that they were trying to make easy money for Eid. A case has been registered against them under Section 392 of the PPC.

Separately, Amjad, 26, a resident of Okara, who has been studying and teaching in Lahore for some time, was arrested by Gulshan-i-Iqbal police a week ago for robbing people.

During interrogation, Amjad said he had started robbing people because of inflation and a meagre salary. He said he had robbed three people. He has been sent to jail on judicial remand.

The Iqbal Town SP said teachers were the builders of a society. “I don’t know who to blame…but [our society] is not going in the right direction.”

Gulshan-i-Ravi SHO Hussain Farooq told The Express Tribune that they had caught several people claiming to be a part of academia in the last few years.

“It doesn’t surprise me any longer, however, from what I have come across, more students are involved in such activities than teachers.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2015.

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