KARACHI - Police high-ups on Monday initiated an inquiry into the flattening of a historic school building by land mafia in connivance with police on Saturday night, and suspended Soldier Bazaar SHO.

According to details, operatives of the land mafia, with the support of area police, used heavy machinery to bulldoze the school building located in Soldier Bazaar. 

The Government Higher Secondary School ‘Jufelhurst’, built in 1928, had been providing education to students of the area till Saturday night when operatives of the land mafia reached the area and reduced the school’s building to rubble. 

Residents of the area pointed fingers at Adnan, Zeeshan and Abid, residents of the same area, who, they added, claimed that the plot on which the school had been built was theirs. “They brought the heavy machinery and flattened the structure,” they alleged.

Taking notice of the incident, Sindh IGP AD Khawaja on Monday directed Additional IG Aftab Pathan to conduct an inquiry and book all the accused, including police officers.

In compliance with his orders, SHO Soldier Bazaar Irshad Soomro was suspended. However, no arrest has been made so far. The authorities also cancelled the earlier approved ex-Pakistan leave of the SHO.      

Provincial Minister for Education & Literacy Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar also took notice of the incident and said that those who had demolished the school’s building would be given an exemplary punishment.

Dahar, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Hussain Mehnati and others also visited site of the demolished school. Dahar said that an FIR had been lodged against the accused and they would be given an exemplary punishment. “This will deter those who plan to occupy the government land illegally,” he added.

He further said that Sindh CM had approved Rs 30 million for the renovation of such historic schools. “Jufelhurst will be restored to its original shape,” the minister vowed. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Engineer Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rahman has accused the Sindh government of patronizing those who brought down the school building. “Instead of promoting education in the province, the government is sheltering those who are demolishing educational institutes just for their own monetary interests,” he regretted.

He assured the affected staffers and students that the JI would continue to fight for their rights.

“Any such attack on education will not be tolerated in future and the authorities will be taken to the task for what has been done to the school,” he warned.