Lahore teenager allegedly beaten to death by school teacher

Published September 5, 2019
Hafiz Hunain Bilal. — Photo provided by family
Hafiz Hunain Bilal. — Photo provided by family

A teenage boy studying at a private school in Lahore's Gulshan-i-Ravi area died on Thursday after allegedly being administered a severe beating by his teacher, according to classmates and police.

According to police, Hafiz Hunain Bilal, a student of class 10, was "tortured" by his teacher.

Quoting the boy's classmates, the police said that the teacher had allegedly done so because "he had failed to memorise his lesson".

The teacher has been arrested by the police and the boy's body has been shifted to the mortuary for a post-mortem examination.

"Investigations are underway and the facts will only emerge after the results of the post-mortem exam," said Iqbal Town SP Mohammad Ajmal.

According to the police spokesperson, "the boy was taken to the hospital from the school but could not be revived".

A case has been registered by the police on behalf of the boy's father under Sections 302 (punishment of qatl-i-amd) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the first information report (FIR), Hunain was a student of the American Lycetuff school.

"The school principal and administration had been mentally torturing my son for the past few days over non-payment of school fees which was deposited today," the FIR quotes the father as saying.

According to the father, he received a phone call from the principal at 1pm on Thursday, who informed him of his son's death. The principal said he was taking the boy to Gosha-e-Shifa Hospital.

The FIR goes on to state that the father was told by Hunain's classmates that he was beaten by the teacher for not having memorised his lesson.

"The teacher punched him repeatedly, grabbed his hair and hit his head against the wall, all the while yelling at him," according to the FIR. As a result, the boy collapsed in the classroom and died, added the report.

One of the classmates while speaking to reporters said the teacher's lecture began at about 11:50am and he asked the each student to recite the lesson he had asked them to memorise. "He heard a few students repeat the lesson [...] he has beaten students in the past as well. Whoever does not have the lesson memorised well is subjected to a beating — especially on the head," said the classmate.

"He was fired previously from the school but returned six months later," he added.

He said that the teacher had been hounding Hunain to repeat the lesson in class since the past two days, but somehow Hunain could never memorise it completely. He had not brought his book to class either, said the classmate.

"He struck his head, his side, his stomach and went on hitting him," the boy told the reporters. "When Hunain said he could not breathe, the teacher slammed him against the wall, saying, 'Being dramatic are we?'"

"Right then he collapsed to the floor. The principal came running to ask what the matter was and it seemed Hunain had lost consciousness," the classmate went on to say as he narrated the incident.

"His pants were all torn. He was in a very bad state," said the boy.

Hunain's uncle, Faisal, quoting the deceased boy's classmates, said that he had been lying semi-conscious on the classroom floor for about ten minutes. "When his head was slammed against the wall, he had let out a scream."

Faisal demanded justice for the family. "Schools are not allowed corporal punishment. This is a private school. We pay a Rs6,000-7,000 fee each month. Do we give it so they kill our children like this?" he asked.

The school has yet to issue a statement on the death of the student.

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