Lahore: 4 held with Rs26m looted from school
LAHORE: Police claimed on Monday to have arrested four people and recovered from them an amount of Rs26.1 million they had looted during ransacking of a private school in Karim Park around two weeks ago. The suspects, who lived adjacent to the Farooqi Girls High School, took advantage of the ransacking of the school by protesters and stole cash from a safe. Scores of protesters, including members of some religious groups, had besieged the school, ransacked its three buildings and torched the owner’s car allegedly on charges of committing blasphemy on Oct 31.
It was alleged that the school administration had distributed a paper among students a few days before Eid ul Azha which carried derogatory remarks against the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him).
The police registered one case against school owner Asim Farooqi and teacher Arfa Iftikhar under blasphemy charges and another against unidentified saboteurs for damaging school and looting cash and valuables.
DIG (Operations) Muhammad Tahir Rai told a news conference that a police team, jointly led by the city division SPs, started investigation into the second case and managed to solve it. He said the police took suspects identified as Muhammad Heera, Babar Ali, Mubashir Ali and Muhammad Rafique into custody and seized looted cash.
The DIG said the accused, who lived in the neighbourhood, took advantage of the protest, entered the school by scaling its wall and stole cash from a safe. One of the investigation officers confided to Dawn that the school owner and his staff suspected that their neighbours had visited the school a few days before the protest and came to know that the cash was kept in the retiring room situated adjacent to the principal’s room.
Meanwhile, the Shafeeqabad investigation police working on the first case registered under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code had yet to trace the whereabouts of teacher Arfa who was expelled by the owner a few days before the attack on school.
An investigation wing official said there were unconfirmed reports that she had secured pre-arrest bail, but the police had yet to get a copy of the bail orders.
He said owner Asim Farooqi, who was taken into custody in connection with Section 109 of the PPC, was currently on judicial remand, but he had moved the Lahore High Court for post–arrest bail.