16 suspects in Diamer school burning arrested
GILGIT: The Northern Areas (NAs) police on Wednesday arrested at least 16 jihadi suspects in Shityal (Kohistan district) allegedly for burning and destroying at least seven community primary schools in Darel Tehsil (Diamer district).
NAs Home Secretary Saeed Ahmed said he could not say which jihadi organisation the detained suspects belonged to, but confirmed that they belonged to religious extremist groups and two suspects belonged to jihadi outfits. He said jihadi activists thought the schools were threatening their existence in Darel.
He said the admissions in religious seminaries had decreased to only seven students after these schools opened and the extremists were against co-education at the primary level. The area’s religious leaders condemned the act and called it a conspiracy to tarnish the area’s image, he added.
The home secretary said the area’s residents had cooperated with the NAs administration in the investigations. He also said four suspects belonged to Gilgit district while 12 were from Darel. He said a vehicle (GLT-1209) was also impounded, as the four Gilgiti suspects were travelling in it in Shityal. The Chilas senior superintendent of police and deputy superintendent of police were investigating suspects in Chilas (district headquarters of Diamer). —Staff Report