NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Unknown persons stormed a school and torched thousands of answer sheets of the ongoing matriculation examination in Mirali tehsil here, sources said.

They told Dawn that the incident took place on Monday night when armed men entered government higher secondary school, Eidak, and set fire to a room containing thousands of solved papers.

An official told Dawn that as per the school principal’s report unidentified miscreants riding five to six motorcycles entered the school premises, and set ablaze school’s paper bank room, where thousands of answer sheets of 23 examination centres were stored.

The official said that solved answer sheets for past three to four days of 9th and 10th grades were stored in the paper bank.

He said that the paper bank also stored next day’s examination papers as well; however, they remained safe.

A senior government official confirmed that a large number of solved papers were burned, and that the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Bannu, would arrange makeup examination for the students of the affected schools.

A source told Dawn that armed men scaled the walls to enter the building and held the guard at gunpoint before setting thousands of answer sheets on fire.

Meanwhile, elders, youth, business community and civil society members staged demonstration on Tuesday against the security forces for taking away the watchman of the Azam Warsak Bazaar in Birmal tehsil of Lower South Waziristan district a few days ago.

The protesters demanded his immediate release.

Taj Mohammad Wazir, a former candidate of the provincial assembly, addressing the protesters demanded of the security forces to produce the watchman before the court if he was guilty of any offence. He said the watchman was picked from the market and his whereabouts were unknown.

However, later the protesters dispersed after assurance from the police officials that the watchman would be freed.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2024

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