SAHIWAL: The Pakpattan district education department has ordered a probe into the death of an eight-year-old sick boy who allegedly died because of torture by his class teacher at a public school at 23/SP village, Guru Chak, on Sunday.

The victim, Shahid Munir, was buried in the village graveyard by his poor and illiterate father, Muhammad Munir, without reporting the matter to police and getting conducted postmortem of his body.

Some locals and classmates of the victim who studied in Class-II blame the teacher for his death, an allegation the local education department is not ready to accept “without any solid evidence”.

Victim’s father Munir, a labourer, told Dawn that Shahid could not attend school on Thursday and Friday because he had a mild fever. On Saturday, he went to school though he was not feeling well.

Munir said quoting some of Shahid’s classmates that his class teacher Muhammad Iqbal asked some questions from Shahid which he could not answer. This infuriated the teacher who punished the boy by making him bend and hitting him hard with a stick.

The boy could not bear the torture and fell unconscious. The teacher first tried to revive the child by sprinkling water on his face but to no avail. He then rushed the student to the local Basic Health Unit (BHU) where the paramedics tried to revive the boy but his condition deteriorated.

Torture by teacher alleged

Shahid was then brought back by his family to their house where he died shortly after.

Following the boy’s death, there was anger among the locals who deplored the “brutal torture” by the teacher despite banning of ‘cane’ use in schools by the Punjab government.

The locals also lamented apathy of district government officials who did not bother to even console the bereaved family.

When the victim’s father was asked why he did not report matter to police, he simply said, “Being a poor man I cannot afford the cost of seeking justice for my beloved child”.

Sources said Education EDO Abdul Mateen visited Shahid’s parents and offered condolence.

The EDO has appointed the deputy district officer (education) as inquiry officer to probe the matter and submit a report within a week.

The EDO said it was learnt the boy was administered two injections at the local BHU at Guru Chak and his condition deteriorated after this treatment.

A local seeking anonymity rejected the EDO’s claim saying local education department officials were trying to cover up the issue to save the teacher who subjected the sick boy to torture, resulting in his death.

The EDO insisted there was no solid evidence the boy died because of torture as nobody bothered to get the postmortem of the body conducted.

However, under the law if someone dies under mysterious circumstances, competent authority could order exhumation and postmortem.

Published in Dawn March 2nd , 2015

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