CHARSADDA: A student of a private college shot and killed his principal in Shabqadar on Monday after he was reprimanded for skipping classes.

The suspect, Syed Faheem Shah, a first year student of Islamia College at Matta in Shabqadar, was arrested on the spot by the personnel of Frontier Constabulary and police along with the weapon believed to have been used in the incident.

The news of Hafiz Sareer Ahmad’s killing sparked outrage as people gathered outside his residence and later marched towards the police station to demand the suspect be handed over to them.

As for the motive, some media reports suggested that the student had been censured for skipping clas­ses to attend the November 2017 sit-in in Islamabad’s Faizabad area. In a video run by some TV channels, the student at the time of his arrest appeared to justify the shooting, saying he believed the principal had committed blasphemy. However, these reports could not be verified.

District Police Officer Zahoor Afridi said that the suspect opened fire on the principal, injuring him fatally. He said the principal died while being shifted to a hospital in Peshawar.

He said a special investigation team had been set up to investigate the motive behind the murder.

A teacher told Dawn that he was in his office when he heard gunshots. He said when he came out he found the principal outside a classroom, seriously injured. He said the college staff informed the police about the incident.

The police and FC personnel posted at a nearby check-post rushed to the college and arrested the student and seized a weapon from his possession.

The teacher said that panic gripped the students and teachers after the firing as they thought that some terrorists had attacked the college.

A student told Dawn that the principal had scolded the accused for skipping the college and expelled him from the classroom which angered him and he opened fire on the principal.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2018