Family of girl tortured by teachers cry out for justice

LAHORE:29 May: Two government teachers allegedly pushed a class-IX girl student from the third floor of the school building in Shahdara, causing her life-threatening injuries. The teachers, who have been booked for attempted murder case, reported to have committed the crime after the girl refused to “clean the classroom on her turn”. The 14-year-old Fajjar Noor is battling for her life at Ghurki Hospital, Lahore. Doctors say she has multiple fractures and her spinal cord is also broken. Her parents, present at the hospital, are in a state of disbelief and have expressed their shock as to how teachers could turn so inhuman. They want ‘Khadim-e-Ala’ not only to provide best medical care to her but also ensure [stern] action against her tormentors. The incident took place at the City District Government Girls School, Kot Shahabdin, Shahdara. Punjab Secretary Education (schools) Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik confirmed to Dawn on Sunday that two senior teachers - Rehana Kausar and Bushra Tufail - first inflicted corporal punishment on Fajjar Noor and then took her to top (third) floor of the school building and pushed her down. “The incident took place on May 23 but the school administration and some other officials kept it secret from the education department. “We came to know about [the incident] on Saturday evening. A departmental inquiry has been launched and the matter has also been referred to the Chief Minister Inspection Team for a thorough probe. “The chief minister has immediately placed District Education Authority Chief Executive Officer Ehsan Malik, Deputy DEO Tayyaba Butt and Headmistress Naghmana Irshad under suspension for hiding the incident. Both teachers have also been suspended and they will be proceeded under the Punjab Employees Efficiency and Disciplinary Act,” he said. Dr Malik said the government would not only bring the teachers to justice but also bear full expenses of the girl’s treatment. “Noor’s life is out of danger and doctors are trying their best that she could walk again,” he said. But Noor’s parents are not satisfied with the government’s efforts so far. “Although Dr Malik visited us and tried to allay our concerns. The CM should come and see my daughter’s condition...she is in extreme pain,” Rukhsana Bibi, Noor’s mother, told this reporter. Talking about as to how the school administration covered up the incident, she said: “It informed us that Noor fell from stairs and sustained serious injuries. When we reached the Mayo Hospital, doctors told us that she had multiple fractures. Her spinal cord was also broken. They asked us to shift her to the Spine Centre at Ghurki Hospital for better treatment.” After regaining consciousness at Mayo, Noor said: “My class teachers Bushra and Rehana ordered me to clean the classroom as today (May 23) was my turn to do so. I told them that I was not feeling well and she would do it some other day. On this they took me to another room and started slapping me. Then they took me to the rooftop and ordered me to clean it (roof). When I argued, they pushed me from the rooftop.” Noor is second among her five siblings - three girls and two boys. Her father Muhammad Akbar is a van driver. “I have not been going to work since May 24. At the moment I am concerned about the health of my daughter who wants to be a doctor. She is battling for her life because of her teachers. This is tormenting,” Akbar said and urged the chief minister to visit his daughter. On the other hand, the Shahdara Town police have registered FIR against the teachers under section 324 (attempted murder). “Police teams are raiding their residences, however no arrest has been made so far,” a police official said.Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2017

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