Two teachers from an Abbottabad government school were arrested and sent to jail on Friday by a judicial magistrate after a video surfaced of them allegedly administering corporal punishment to a girl, police said.
After the video, which appeared to show the teachers from Government Primary School Karimpura kicking and dragging the uniform-clad girl by her hair, went viral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan took notice of the incident and ordered the suspension of the pair.
Subsequently, Abbottabad's deputy commissioner set up a three-member committee to probe the incident.
The chief minister's adviser, Ziaullah Bangash, confirmed that two teachers, including the head of the school had been suspended and that an explanation from the district education officer had been sought. "Corporal punishment of students will not be tolerated," Bangash said.
District Education Officer Samina Altaf Shah, while speaking to the media, said that she had also been tasked by Secretary Arshad Khan to look into the matter. She said that recommendations, including the transfer of the rest of the school staff, have been sent to the secretary and that "the process will be completed within a day".
She said she has also recommended that a focal person be appointed for the redressal of such issues in the future.
District Police Officer Abbas Majeed Khan Marwat also took notice of the incident and ordered a police investigation into the matter, following which District Superintendent of Police Yaseen Khan Janjua formed a police probe team.
A case was registered at the Cantt police station by Station House Officer Tahir Saleem on the complaint of the girl's father under Section 34 (punishment for corporal punishment) and 37 (punishment for violence) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act. Soon after, the two teachers were arrested.
According to the First Information Report (FIR), a copy of which is available with DawnNewsTV, the victim is a student of first grade. Her father stated in the FIR that for the past 20 days, the girl had been reluctant to enter the school.
On the day of the incident, the father said, his daughter was again resisting entering the school premises when a teacher emerged, grabbed the girl by her hand and forced her inside. The gate was then shut behind them, he said.
The girl's elder sister heard her screams from the inside and tried to go in but was not allowed, the father added.
It is pertinent to mention here that corporal punishment is a penal offence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010.