'#JusticeForHunain': Pakistanis demand justice for Lahore teenager allegedly tortured to death by teacher

Updated September 06, 2019

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Hafiz Hunain Bilal, a 10th grade student in American Lycetuff school, was allegedly beaten to death by his teacher. — Photo courtesy  Rimsha Naeem via Twitter
Hafiz Hunain Bilal, a 10th grade student in American Lycetuff school, was allegedly beaten to death by his teacher. — Photo courtesy Rimsha Naeem via Twitter

Social media users on Friday were in an uproar over the news of a teenage boy, Hafiz Hunain Bilal, being allegedly beaten to death by his teacher, with #JusticeForHunain trending on Twitter.

According to police, 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 and the school's principal was arrested soon after the incident on Thursday and the boy's body was taken for an autopsy.

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

It also emerged that the teacher had beaten students in the past and was fired, but returned six months later. The school, however, has not issued any statement on the incident.

Twitter user Ayesha Sattar, who identified herself as a relative of the victim, said he had been "killed by his computer teacher" for "not learning the lesson". She added that Hunain had died "on the spot".

Another Twitter user Rimsha Naeem, who said she was Hunain's cousin, posted a series of tweets detailing the incident and called upon the Twitter community to rally against the injustice.

"You left us too soon, I can’t imagine another day without you. My heart aches knowing that he was brutally murdered and yet no one took any action. He deserves all the justice in the world. Twitter do your thing."

Responding to Naeem's tweets, Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar extended his condolences and said that the school was located in his constituency and that he was "personally monitoring the case".

"My condolences to the family on this tragic incident. The boy's family and the private school is located in my constituency in Lahore and I am personally monitoring the case. The teacher is in jail and I will ensure that him and the school is dealt with as per law."

He promised to hold meetings with "relevant education ministers" and discuss the "need for review of laws" against corporal punishment.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari termed the incident as "horrific" and pointed out that it was not the first incident to happen in schools in various parts of the country. She said that a bill against corporal punishment had been lying with the law ministry "for vetting" for the past four years and hoped that it would be cleared soon.

'What kind of society do we live in?'

Reacting to the horrifying details, Twitterati questioned the education system as well as the rule of law in the country.

"Teachers are brutal, Police is brutal, Bureaucrats and politicians are corrupt, Lawyers are law breakers, Doctors are butchers, every common citizen is corrupt as per his power and approach. What kind of society we live in?" tweeted Saqib Hussain.

"It's like there is no humanity left in the world anymore," lamented Twitter user Areebah, pointing to a recent incident in which Salahuddin Ayubi, a mentally impaired man, allegedly died from police torture.

Another user, whose profile is named Meem Alif, expressed her disbelief and said: "Feels like I’ve gone numb [...] how is this even possible? How can someone be so inhuman?"

"It’s killing me to look at this kid’s face. He must have his friends, activities and a routine. He had a life ahead of him!! Can’t imagine what his family must be going through right now," she wrote.