Lahore: School principal sent to jail
LAHORE: The principal of ‘blasphemous school’ had been sent to the jail for 14 days, police said on Thursday. A day after Asim Farooqi courted his arrest to the police in connection with the blasphemy case; he was produced before a local court on Thursday and later sent on judicial remand, police investigators said. The main accused, lady teacher namely Arfa Iftikhar, is still at large and raids are being conducted to nab her, according to the police. An angry mob went on the rampage and set the Farooqi Girls High School alight in the Karim Park area on early Wednesday to protest against the administration for allegedly distributing pamphlets carrying blasphemous material among its students.
The administration of the girls’ school situated on Ravi Road has denied the charge. The school principal distanced himself from what happened in the classroom, courted his arrest and appealed to the government to ensure investigations purely on merit.
The police registered a case against the school administration, its principal and lady teacher under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Local residents told the police that the schoolteacher, Arfa Iftikhar, distributed a question paper carrying derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Meanwhile, dozens of students of the school along with their parents gathered outside the Lahore Press Club on Thursday and staged a peaceful protest demonstration, demanding the authorities to release the school principal.
Many of the girls were carrying placards inscribed with writings ‘Sir Asim is a true Muslim and patriotic Pakistani’, ‘Release our spiritual father’, and ‘Sir Asim Farooqi is not a blasphemer’.
The students also demanded of the chief justice to take suomotu notice of the incident to save the future of more than 800 students currently studying at the school. They also demanded of the Punjab government to provide them justice by ensuring merit-based investigations.
Also, Lahore Division Commissioner Jawad Rafique Malik on Thursday took serious notice of the alleged distribution of blasphemous material among the students of a private school in Karim Park, Ravi Road, and ordered an impartial inquiry into the incident.
The commissioner also constituted a committee comprising MNAs, MPAs, local Ulema and SP (Security) that will submit its report after determining the facts of the case. He was presiding over a meeting regarding the incident of alleged distribution of blasphemous material among the students of a private school in Karim Park, Ravi Road.
The meeting decided to give administrative control of the school to the City District Government Lahore and additional commissioner general was appointed as its administrator.
The meeting also decided that a committee comprising officers of the education department, local elected representatives and Ulema would supervise the affairs of the school, so that the precious time of the students was not wasted.
The committee will also identify the people who were involved in violence and vandalism in and outside the school, so that strict punishment could be awarded to them under the law.
The meeting was also attended by MNA Mian Marghoob Ahmed; MPAs Ajasam Sharif and Khawaja Imran Nazir; EDO (Education) Pervaiz Akhtar; SP (Security) Abdul Ghaffar; Pakistan Sunni Tehreek President Abdul Rasool Khan; and Sunni Tehreek members Abid Hussain, Qari Muhammad Rafique, Qari Muhammad IrfanLeghari, Chaudhry Muhammad Ilyas and Muhammad Arshad.