Islamabad - Thousands of police personnel vacated some ten educational institutions occupied by the Punjab police when the anti-government sit-ins started adversely affecting the academic activity for over a month.

As many as 17 schools and colleges are still occupied by the police and, according to officials, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has informed the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) that they will vacated them soon.

Around 31, students are enrolled in these 19 schools who could not resume their studies with the start of academic session as thousands of security personnel called in the federal capital to control security situation in the wake of sit-ins by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) since August 14 were lodging there.

The policemen staying in eight schools and colleges left the institutions one by one but it took the officials at least two to three days to clean up the mess. Classes have started, officials say, in most of the vacated schools after cleanup but it will take a much longer time to fix the damages.

“I can’t explain what they have done there,” said one of the officials who surveyed different schools. “It was impossible to start class there. It took us two to three days to clean up the mess they left behind. What we found in every institution was stench, choked toilets, out of order water taps and pumps, smashed window panes, damaged tiled floors and broken furniture.”

Another official said that in a G-6/1 school a boundary wall was broken. They threw class furniture in the lawns under the open sky and they got damaged due to downpour and sun light.

“Water pumps went out of order as they used them and other electronic appliances 24/7. They even defecated in the lawns and rooms when toilets got choked. It was impossible for us to stand even in the principal’s room,” complained a teacher of  Islamabad Model School for Girls in G-9/3.

Private sweepers and plumbers were hired to clean up the mess. A committee has been formed and heads of institutions have also been asked to make an estimate of the damages, said Ghulam Hussain, Director Administration and Budget at the Federal Directorate of Education. After the vacation of all institutions final claims will be sent to the Interior Ministry for compensation.

From 500 to 3,000 policemen were staying in each institution depending upon the size of the school or college. Over 20,000 officials are still staying in 19 schools and colleges, he said.

Another teacher of IMCG, G-9/2 that is still under occupation said after waiting for a month we have called Class IX and X students in another junior school to take classes as they have to sit in the board exams that will be held according to their set schedule so we can’t wait.

“We are not living here by choice,” remarked one of the policemen staying at IMCG (Postgraduate) F-7/2. “There are no proper living rooms, food, water, washrooms and toilets.

There are always long queues in front of washrooms and toilets as there is only one toilet for at least over a hundred policemen. We were ordered to stay here until further orders. The stay is getting longer but we want to go home,” he explained.