NAROWAL: The city police have booked principal-cum-owner of a private school and six women teachers allegedly for subjecting mother and brother of a class-four girl student to torture for demanding the school leaving certificate.

The issue was highlighted after a video clip of the torture incident was uploaded on social media. The victim, Rifat Kulsoom Rani, wife of labourer Anwar Latif, a resident of Mohalla Rajan, Narowal, told Dawn on Sunday that she and her husband decided to withdraw their four-year-old daughter, Iqra, from private Ali Foundation School because they could not afford to pay her fee.

Ms Rani said on September 16, she and her son went to the school to collect the school leaving certificate of Iqra, required for her admission to a low-fee public school.

Ms Rani said the principal-cum-owner of the school, Shakeel Ahmed, demanded six-month fee in advance for issuing the certificate.

“When I told the principal that his demand was unjustified and she could not pay the advance fee amount because of financial constraints, he started abusing me and my son,” she said.

She said principal Shakeel brutally tortured her and he was also joined by some female teachers. She said the principal and teachers also tore her clothes and snatched her handbag containing Rs27,600 cash she had for monthly expenditures.

The woman alleged that later the principal and teachers forcibly locked her and her son in a classroom.

Ms Rani said that she somehow called the police Helpline 15 from her mobile phone, and sought help. Acting on her call, a team of Narowal city police reached the school and rescued Rani and her son.

The suspect Shakeel Ahmed, however, claimed the row erupted when Ms Rani forced her to issue her daughter’s class five pass certificate. The principal said when he refused to issue the pass certificate of Iqra, Ms Rani abused him and staff of the school.

He denied that the complainant woman was tortured, terming the allegations baseless.

However, after taking notice of the video clip of the torture incident on social media, District Police Officer Dr Rizwan ordered the police to take action against the suspect.

On the DPO’s orders, city police registered an FIR against Shakeel Ahmed and six female teachers of the school.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2022

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