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Protests Staged Against Murder Of Education Officer In KP

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KOHISTAN: Students, teachers and members of the civil society on Monday held a protest against the murder of district education officer (DEO) Nawab Ali in Kolai-Palas area of Kohistan.

The demonstration was held on the call of the Shangla teachers association. Protests and rallies were held in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), including in Shangla, which is the native district of the slain officer. Nawab was allegedly murdered in his office on Saturday.

According to Palas Station House Officer (SHO) Muhammad Hafeez, a first information report (FIR) was registered against unknown suspects under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Moreover, a joint investigation team (JIT), led by Mansehra sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Ashiq Hussain, have been formed to investigate the case on the request of Nawab’s family.

On Monday (today), protestors blocked the main route of Karakoram Highway for two hours and chanted slogans against member of provincial assembly (MPA) Mufti Ubaidur Rehman, local police and district commissioner of Kolai-Palas. They also accused the officials for being involved in the murder case.

While addressing the participants, protest leaders demanded the government to arrest the culprits, including police heads, Rehman and the district commissioner, for their alleged involvement in the DEO’s murder.

Suliman Khan, a close friend and relative of the slain education officer, claimed that Nawab had recruited 14 Class-IV officials on the recommendation of a local MPA, while adding that an opposition group in the area was against the appointment orders.

Meanwhile, the protestors demanded that a resolution should be passed at the earliest to end the district status of Kolai-Palas Kohistan, saying that an area where education officers are killed did not deserve the status of a district.

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Protests were also held in other areas, including Pattan in Lower Kohistan, Shangla, Puran, Chakesar, Shahapur, Martung, Karora, Alpuri and Dandai.

Further, demonstrations were also held in different schools and colleges. Students and teachers from government and private schools prayed for the education officer, while the national flag was flown at half-mast in all government educational institutes.

The Shangla teachers association have also decided to observe a black day on October 15 due to which schools would remain closed.

Meanwhile, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Elementary and Secondary Education Ziaullah Bangash on Monday visited Chakesar and expressed his condolences with the slain education officer’s family.

He assured the family that he was in contact with the JIT after the KP chief minister had issued strict orders to arrest the culprits within 48 hours.

SHO Hafeez said that after receiving information about the officer’s death, police had reached his office on Saturday where they found his body and a bullet. Another bullet was found outside his office.

According to former tehsil council convener and a cousin of Nawab, namely Shaukat Ali, the education officer had been receiving threats to his life. However, he couldn’t disclose who was threatening his slain relative.

Shaukat said that they were hopeful that the JIT would investigate the case in a better way and arrest the culprits at the earliest.

In addition, the district education office in Shangla said that Nawab’s transfer to the Government Centennial Model School Alpuri Shangla was ordered a day before his death.

SHO Hafeez said that so far no arrests have been made in Nawab’s death and investigations were underway.

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