SC-CJP takes notice of attacks on GB schools

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday took a suo motu notice of the attack on 12 schools in Diamer, District of Gilgit-Baltistan.
According to the press statement of the SC spokesperson, the notice is taken on the media reports that about 12 schools were set on fire as mostly among them were girls’ schools.
While taking notice of the incident, the chief justice directed Secretary Ministry of Interior, Secretary Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, and federal government of Pakistan to submit their reports within 28 hours.  A day ago, at least 12 schools were attacked overnight in apparently coordinated attacks by unidentified assailants in Diamir district, raising fears of increasing extremism in a relatively peaceful area.
Ten suspects arrested
Authorities arrested at least 10 suspects involved in the torching of 12 schools. Spokesman of Gilgit Biltistan government Faizullah Firaq said that four suspects were arrested Friday and six were arrested on Saturday.
He said the arrested suspects have been shifted to Darel Tangir police station for investigation.
Officials said the attackers mainly targeted girl schools in the tourist region on the Chinese border famed for its high peaks.
A district spokesman said the miscreants burnt several under-construction and some recently-built schools near the district headquarters Chilas, which is about 130 kilometres from Gilgit.
Fortunately, no one was injured as the schools, eight of which belonged to girls, were closed during the overnight attacks.
According to local sources, the attackers blew up two schools while others were torched and ransacked. They also torched books, school record and some items.
A senior district official, Dildar Ahmed Malik said at least 10 of the burnt schools were for girls. “The incident took place in a far-flung area. We are investigating it but the inquiry will take time because of the remoteness of the region,” he said.
The attacks on schools triggered protest by local residents who sought safety for educational institutions.
Some locals and journalists said they had heard explosions in GPS Ronay and Girls School Takya. The other schools that were ransacked and torched were located in Hoder, Thor, Gayal village, Tabour, Khanbari, Jaglot, Gali Bala and Gali Paeen.
The attackers had also tried to break into an army-run school but had been stopped by guards, said a local resident Ghayas Ali. “People heard heavy explosions,” he added.
The attacks in villages of Diamer district had been a well-planned and coordinated act, police chief Raja Ajmal said.
Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Rehman Malik took notice of the incidents and asked the Baltistan chief secretary to furnish a report on the matter. He said that those found involved would be severely punished.