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Diamir/Chillas schools burning: 10 suspects arrested

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Miscreants set 12 girls schools on fire

GILGIT: Ten suspects have been arrested who were allegedly involved in the torching of 12 girls’ schools in Diamir, Chillas.

Talking to media today spokesman of Gilgit Baltistan government Faizullah Firaq said that four suspects were arrested yesterday and six were arrested today. He said that the arrested suspects have been shifted to Darel Tangir police station for investigation.

Meanwhile, CJP  took Suo Motu notice of the attack on 12 schools in Diamer, Gilgit-Baltistan. has sought a report from the government, the secretary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs, and from the interior secretary within the next 48 hours.

It is pertinent to mention here that at least 12 girls’ schools were attacked in Chilas and Derel areas about 130 kilometers from Gilgit late Thursday night.

Unidentified men attacked 12 girls’ schools in Boatar and Thor areas of Chillas and Diamer districts and damaged school property, police said. The attackers also torched some of the items in schools in Giyal, Tabor, and Khenri areas.  The police have started a search operation in the area to arrest the responsible.

Relevant pieces published earlier:

i) Unidentified miscreants have vandalized, bombed and set at least a dozen schools on fire last night across the district. Sources in Diamer have identified the schools as i) Girls Primary School located in Ronay, Chilas; ii) Girls School Takya; iii) Social Action Programme (SAP) Primary School in Hudur area; iv) Army Public School, Darel Tehsil; v) Primary School in Tabor village of Darel Valley; vi) SAP Primary School in Tabor, Darel; vii) APS in Tangir Valley (adjacent to Diamer, sharing borders with Kohistan district of KP); viii) Girls Primary School Sheegay Manikal, Darel Valley; ix) Girls Primary School Galee Bala, Tangir Valley; x) Primary School Galee Bala, Tangir Valley; xi) Girls Primary School Khanbary; xii) Girls Primary School Gyal Village. 

So far no one has claimed responsibility but the ease with which the miscreants had operated could be gauged by the fact that even torn textbooks were found scattered outside the schools that the arsonists had conveniently thrown out.

It is pertinent to mention here that back in 2004 and 2011 too extremists had targeted girls’ schools in Diamer. Conspiracies theorists insinuate that burning of the girls’ schools was a choreographed act carried out deliberately after seven years in order to destroy the prevailing peace and to prevent people from uniting.

Prime Minister Justice (Retd) Nasir ul Mulk has today strongly condemned the burning of schools at Chilas, Gilgit Baltistan and directed for bringing the perpetrators of the incident to justice. The prime minister also sought report of the incident from the authorities concerned, a statement issued by the PM media office said.

Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Barrister Syed Ali Zafar strongly condemned the burning of girls’ schools at Chilas, Gilgit Baltistan and said the government would bring the perpetrators of the incident to justice. In a statement, the minister said those who were behind these incidents were against the education. They were believers of illiteracy and against the Islam, law and the right of our children for education. He said the whole nation was united against these enemies of education. (Published on 3rd August 2018).

ii) A relevant piece published earlier: Muhammad Ibrahim Sani, Provincial Minister for Education, said here today that literacy ratio of girls students was enhanced in Gilgit Baltistan due to prudent educational reforms of the PMLN Government during last two years. The minister was talking to journalists following his visit to the Girls High School Karas where he inquired about problems of students and teachers. He said a number of girls schools were enhanced besides enrollment of girls’ students in the province during PMLN government’s tenure and confidence of students and parents were restored. Minister told the Media that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had recently inaugurated Gilgit Baltistan University during his visit to Skardu.  He informed that work on Jalkot-Skardu Road has been started and would be completed according to the schedule. (Published on 1st November 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Sahiwal family’ to get Rs. 20m compensation!

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LAHORE: CM Sardar Usman Buzdar has announced Rs. 20m as compensation to be given to the heirs of the family that was shot dead by CTD. 

CM  said that all those found guilty in Sahiwal incident would be held accountable and action would be taken against them under the law.

Chairing a high-level meeting here at CM’s Office to review headway in the case, he pointed out that FIR has been registered against the shooters. He said justice would be ensured. 

Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary Interior, Inspector General Police and other senior officials attended the meeting.

A relevant piece published earlier: 

PM orders an inquiry in Sahiwal killings

 

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Syria: Bomb blast in a bus kills 3 

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BEIRUT: A bomb blast in a bus killed three civilians Sunday in the northern Syrian city of Afrin on the first anniversary of a Turkish attack on the Kurdish-majority region, a war monitor said.
Nine other people, including fighters, were killed in the explosion, said the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Turkish troops and allied rebel groups seized the Afrin region from Kurdish forces in March last year after a two-month air and ground offensive.

 

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PM orders an inquiry in Sahiwal killings

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ISLAMABAD: PM Imran Khan has sought a report from CM Punjab apropos Sahiwal shooting in which CTD police killed four including a teenager and her parents.  

PM took to Twitter to appreciate the great job done by the CTD in the fight against terrorism. He held that everyone must be accountable before the law: “As soon as JIT report comes, swift action will be taken. The govt’s priority is protection of all its citizens.”

Imran Khan further tweeted: “Still shocked at seeing the traumatized children who saw their parents shot before their eyes. Any parent would be shocked as they would think o their own children in such a traumatic situation. These children will now be fully looked after by the state as its responsibility.”

JIT formed by IGP would be headed by a DIG and harbor members from intelligence services. Meanwhile,  CTD personnel who were involved in the dubious shooting have also been put behind bars on the orders of CM Punjab who held: “… CTD officials will be punished if found responsible for the cold-blooded killings.” Later FIRs were registered against all 12 cops arrested u/s 302 penal code of Pakistan. 

Those injured in the firing incident – termed as an ‘encounter’ by the CTD – are being treated in medical facilities. Sadly one wounded is a  minor who happens to be the son of the killed husband and wife. 

Relevant I: With the alleged shady encounter on a highway in Sahiwal district on Saturday noon resulting into killing of four persons, including two women, a big question mark was posed on the functioning of Punjab Police. The victims were first declared as kidnappers and then as terrorists from a proscribed group by the police force, which raised eyebrows on the alleged shootout, followed by contradictory witnesses’ narratives.  As the incident drew wide ire and condemnation, demands were also made for a thorough probe.  Prime Minister Imran Khan himself contacted Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and sought a report over the alleged encounter. He directed for a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the incident so that facts could be ascertained. Separately, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, in a video message, said if the version of Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) about the incident was not correct, then the personnel involved in it would be brought to book and face exemplary punishment. The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), in a statement, said its personnel signaled a car and a motorcycle to stop near toll plaza on GT Road, but the occupants opened fire on them and in the ensuing shootout, four persons, including two women, were killed by the firing of their own accomplices.  The victims were identified as Muhammad Khalil, his wife Nabeela, 13-year-old daughter Areeba and a neighbor. Three children were also recovered from the car, who, later, clearly contradicted the CTD version and said the police fired upon their parents, elder sister and the car driver when they were traveling from Lahore to Burewala.  The surviving boy Umair, who received a gunshot wound in his leg, later identified the deceased as his parents, teenage sister and his father’s friend. The media narrated accounts of the children in which they maintained that their parents were killed in a cold blood by the police.  On the other hand, after the shooting incident, residents of Ismail Nagar in Lahore, neighbors and people of the area blocked Ferozpur Road demanding speedy action against the relevant police personnel.  They rejected the police statement, saying they had been familiar with the family for the last many years.  Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Amjad Javed Salimi has formed a four-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT), headed by DIG Zulfiqar Hameed, to investigate the alleged encounter and present its report within three days. According to eyewitnesses, the CTD officials opened fire on the car without hurling a warning and refuted the claims about the recovery of weapons or explosives from the car. Iftikhar Durrani said that the prime minister had taken notice of the incident and was in touch with the chief minister. He said the prime minister was saddened and worried over the tragic incident and directed for the urgent probe by the JIT to fix responsibility. The incident once again exposed the fragility of Punjab police force’s modus operandi, especially those personnel deployed on checkpoints as in the past, several incidents of firing had resulted in causalities.

Relevant II: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Saturday took notice of the killing of four people in the alleged police action in Sahiwal. According to a handout issued here, the CM sought a report from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and directed that the incident may be investigated from all aspects. It is pertinent to mention here that IGP Amjad Javed Saleemi has formed Joint Investigation Team (JIT) over the incident. According to the details, DIG Zulfiqar Hameed would be the head of JIT while members of intelligence agencies would be members of the team. The JIT would present a report in three days after completing its investigation.

Relevant III: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry Saturday expressed deep sorrow over the tragic incident of Sahiwal in which four persons were killed by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had ordered immediate action and all the accused were arrested in a half an hour, who would be given exemplary punishment after investigations, he said talking to a private news channel Ejaz Chaudhry said the PTI government was fully determined to introduce police reforms in the country. He said the PTI had never done politics on such type of tragic incidents and the responsibles would face the strict punishment. The persons killed in the incident belonged to his constituency, who were all innocent, he added.

Relevant IV: Dr. Shahbaz Gill, spokesperson of Punjab Chief Minister, Saturday said the Counter Terrorism Department officials involved in the alleged extra-judicial killing of a family, had been taken into custody on the orders of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. Talking to a private news channel, he said the chief minister, who spent a busy day in Mianwali, was on his way to Sahiwal. He said the CTD officials had claimed that four persons, including two women, who were said to be affiliated with Daish, were killed in the shootout near Sahiwal. However, moments after the alleged encounter, the family and eyewitnesses disputed the claim. Strict action would be taken against the officials if they were found guilty in the matter, he added.

 

 

 

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