Rawalpindi - The heads of the government and private schools in the garrison city are undergoing mental sufferings after the local police have started booking them for poor security and not purchasing the expensive security equipment.

On May 11 last, Rawalpindi police registered cases against heads of 13 government and private schools for not making proper security arrangements in their institutions. The school principals including six women have been booked under the new law.

The principals of Government Girls Degree College Dhoke Hassu and Government Girls High School Dhoke Hassu are also among the principals who have been booked under the 14-Punjab Security Ordinance 2015. The other principals included Mohammad Afaq of Allied School Ratta Amral, Hafiz Ziaur Rehman of Alfalah School Shahzad Colony, and Zahir Ali of Noorul Ain School Nawab Colony.

According to the correspondence among the principal of Government Girls High Schools Dhoke Hassu, Shehla Afshan Nazli, district administration and local police, a copy of which is also available with this scribe, the local police served a notice on the principal on April 15 for poor security arrangements as well as for not installing walkthrough gate at the school entrance. She was also advised to improve the security measures as per section 7 of Punjab Security of Vulnerable Establishment Ordinance, 2015 within 10 days. In reply to the police demand for hiring another security guard and purchasing walkthrough gate, the principal noted: “We cannot purchase walkthrough gate. It is the duty of the government to provide it.

The armed security guard is also managed from Faroogh-e-Taleem Fund (FTF) and it is impossible to manage more than one security guard (from the FTF).

Police are not performing duty properly. No one comes in the morning and at pack-up time which is need of the security.” She further told the police officials that 12 CCTV cameras are functional in the school so as to keep check on any suspicious activity in and around the school premises.

In reply to the police notice, the principal through another letter on April 23, 2015 also asked the DCO Rawalpindi to provide another armed security guard and a walkthrough gate. “It is requested to provide us an armed security guard and a walkthrough gate as soon as possible”, she demanded. But no action was taken on the request. However, the local police registered a criminal case against her and 12 others for having poor security and not installing walkthrough gates at the entry point of the school.

Talking to this scribe on condition of anonymity, another school head said that they were undergoing mental sufferings due to the police attitude.

“The police are shifting blame for lack of security equipment on us. We have meagre resources and it is the responsibility of the government to provide the schools with equipment which are beyond the purchasing power of the institutions,” he said.

Following the terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014, the Punjab government had directed the education department to make foolproof security arrangements in schools to avert any such tragedy.