Students, Civil Society Protest Threats Against Schools in Panjgur
The Baloch Hal News
PANJGUR: After threats made to private schools educating girls and an attack on a school administrator, members of the civil society and students took out a procession here on Wednesday to protest the threats and show solidarity with private school.
Rallies from different points of the town started and gathered near Model School Chowk. From there, they headed towards the Deputy Commissioner’s office. The participants chanted slogan in favor of education. “We want education. Education is our basic right. Save education,” the protestors demanded.
All private schools in town had closed earlier this month after an attack on an English language tuition center in Washbood and a school in Sawaran localities. Teachers were beaten and humiliated, while their cell phones were snatched.
A shadowy Islamic extremist group Tanzeem al-Islami ul-Furqan claimed responsibiliy for the attacks. They issued pamphlets to all private schools and English language tuition centers in the area to stop educating girls. The group in its pamphlet had called girls’ education ‘Haram’, an Islamic term that refers to things forbidden in the religion, and had asked private schools to stop educating girls.
According to a source, the schools were considering demands of the group and wanted to make an arrangement to educate girls separately. When they reopened this week, vehicle of an administrator of a private school carrying female students and staff to school came under attack by members of the group. Major (retired) Hussain Ali’s vehicle was set ablaze by the attackers. According to him, they were wearing headbands that had an Allah O Akbar print.
Leaders of the ruling National Party, the opposition Balochistan National Party Mengal, Balochistan National Party Awami as well as the religious Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam also participated in the precession. Addressing the crowd, they spoke in favor of girls’ education and demanded security for private schools. They asked the district administration to arrest the culprits.
Noor Ahmed Baloch of BNP Awami reminded the district administration of its role to maintain law and order for all people, particularly for students and schools. Pullen Baloch of the ruling National Party assured the students and teachers that those who want to close the doors of education will not succeed in their goal.