Missionary school shut after warning
MINGORA, Sept 10: A Christian missionary girls' school at Sangota was
closed down for an indefinite period on Sunday after a letter threatening
suicide attacks was issued purportedly by an extremist organisation.
organisation charged the school's administration of preaching Christianity and
vulgarity among students.
The organisation Janisaran-e-Islam (Devotees of
Islam) issued a two-page 'red notice' in Urdu language warning the Sangota
Public School's administration to wind up its activities and replace the
Christian staff with Muslims within seven days or else face suicide
Local police enhanced security for the Christian staff,
including some women Sri Lankan nationals, at the school.
view the current uncertain situation in the area we have decided to close down
the school for an indefinite period," the acting principal Ms Seema said. She
added that the school would reopen after the situation
Principal Ms Constantine, hailing from Sri Lanka, was on leave.
Two other Sri Lankan staffers were Ms Welmarina and Ms Moraine.
taken appropriate measures for the safety of the staff and have enhanced the
number of policemen deputed at the school," DSP Mingora Abdul Kalam said.
The school was established in 1954 and was currently educating 950
girl students out of which 215 were boarders.
The school was gifted by
the British Government to the then Wali of Swat and was initially co-ed, but
since 1998, it had only been admitting girl students.
have started leaving the school fearing attacks. Some students regretted that it
was unjust on part of the militant organisations to deprive them of seeking
The militant group had on Saturday sent the letter to the
local press club directing it to publish it in newspapers. Earlier, similar
letters were sent to different people, including video and CD shops,
hairdressers, net cafes, nurses, girls' schools and organisations dealing with
population planning. Some shops and infrastructures were targeted when their
warnings were ignored.
In the letter, the extremist organisation warned
the school administration to replace male and Christian students with Muslims
and ordered the school shut till such an arrangement was in place. It added that
students should be clad in burqa while going to school and younger girls should
wear head-scarves. They warned parents that if any student was seen without a
burqa then they would target them with suicide attacks.
levelled serious allegations against the school's administration alleging that
hostel students were being taken to the church located inside the school during
Moreover, it added that students were being encouraged to use
the Internet, which they used for chatting and viewing vulgar
The organisation alleged that girl students of class fourth and
fifth were being taught by women teachers whereas males had been recruited for
The militants warned guardians of the students of dire
consequences if their demands were not fulfilled. Dawn
"Salam to all.... i just wana tell to GOVT of pakistan that they start action on these Taliban just like in Islamabad...."
Name: Mehran Khan
City, Country: Mingora Swat/ Pakistan
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