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Karachi

April 11, 2017

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Sindh BoR’s role in Jufelhurst School demolition to be probed

Soldier Bazaar SHO Irshad Soomro and

ASI Hakim Ali suspended for their involvement

The name of Federal Investigation Agency’s Inspector Adnan, who supervised the demolition of heritage site Jufelhurst School in Soldier Bazaar on Saturday night, was placed on the exit control list on Monday and there is evidence suggesting that the provincial board of revenue (BoR) might be involved in the act.

An inquiry committee headed by Inspector IG Dr Aftab Ahmed Pathan has recorded the statements of the police officers involved in the demolition, The News has learnt.

The committee has recorded the statements of DSP Arshad Masoomi, Irshad Soomro, Hakim Ali and a police constable.

Jamshed Quarters SP Dr Rizwan Ahmed, who too recorded his statement before the committee, said the police department had requested the FIA to start an inquiry against Inspector Adnan.

 “On the committee’s request, the FIA has cancelled Inspector Adnan’s four-month leave,” he added. “The FIA has also placed his name on the exit control list.”

The other police officers involved in the demolition, Soldier Bazaar SHO Irshad Soomro and ASI Hakim Ali, have been suspended by SSP East Faisal Abdullah. Shanti Nagar police post in-charge Nasir Mehmood has been appointed the acting Soldier Bazaar SHO.

 

BoR’s involvement?

SP Dr Rizwan Ahmed said the committee after recording the statements of the officers involved would now contact the provincial board of revenue to confirm the authenticity of the documents on basis of which demolition of the school was carried out.

Sources privy to the development told The News that the BoR had the record of the documents in possession of the officers suggesting that the forgery had taken place in connivance with the board’s officials.

The sources maintained that there was a possibility that an inquiry committee would be formed to find out the names of the board officials who were behind the demolition.

 

Wall construction begins

The education department (Schools) started the reconstruction of the boundary wall of the Jufelhurst School on Monday. The century-old school was demolished on Saturday night. It is believed that the land mafia was behind the move.

The education department wants to complete the construction of the external boundary wall before Monday evening so that no further attempt to damage the property could take place.

In 1972, the Jufelhurst School along with other private educational institutions located in Sindh including schools and colleges were nationalised by the ZA Bhutto regime.

The construction of the Jufelhurst School began in 1928 while its academic session was started in 1931.

The late Sybil D’Abero, who had also built her 500-yard residence within the school boundary, wanted to spread education among locals living in the neighbourhood.

Ironically, the provincial culture department had declared the building a heritage site in January 2016, but no serious measures were taken to protect it.

Using heavy machinery, around 75 percent of the building used by the Sybil D’Abero was destroyed on Saturdya night.

Around four or five rooms of Sybil D’Abero’s residence were completely razed.

Sybil’s only close relatives are the children of her brother, who lives in United States and only visits Karachi for a few days.

The rooftop of nearby classrooms has also been also damaged and children, who came to school on Monday, were shifted to other classrooms for their safety.

Around 1,100 male and female students are enrolled in four different schools, which are run in four separate buildings in two shifts. The female students are enrolled in the first (morning) shift whereas male students are registered in the second one.

 

Minister visits school

Provincial education and literacy minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, while visiting the school, said those who had demolished the school would be handed down exemplary punishment to prevent anybody else from trying illegally occupy school buildings.

“The role of civil society members, the media and other stakeholders is really praiseworthy in saving the school building,” he added.

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Hussain Mehnati, education secretary (Schools) Abdul Aziz Okaili, Karachi director schools Dr Riaz Ahmed Siddiqui were also present on the occasion.

Dahar said an FIR had been lodged against the accused. He added that the chief minister had approved Rs30 million for the renovation of schools that had been declared heritage sites and the Jufelhurst School would be restored to its original shape.

Dahar expressed his resentment that the police station of the area did not respond quickly and stop the demolition.

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