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Peshawar schools receive threats

By Javed Aziz Khan

PESHAWAR: Following forced closure of female educational institutions in the restive Swat valley, girls’ schools and colleges on the University of Peshawar (UoP) campus also received several threatening letters over the past few days, sources told The News.

Preliminary investigation by the capital city police into the matter, however, revealed that the letters were bogus and dispatched either by students or others from within the institutions just for a fun and thrill.

Unknown dispatchers sent three letters with threats of bombing the girls’ section of the Islamia Collegiate School, while two others were sent to the Agriculture University Public School (Girls’ Section). The administrations were directed to close down the two institutions immediately or face bombing.

Suspected militants had attacked two private schools last month, where three buses of these institutions were torched while administration block of one of them was blown up with a time bomb.

Some staff members and security guards had also sustained injuries in the firing and bombing.

Besides, a number of educational institutions in Peshawar – having co-education system or imparting education to females – have received threatening letters during the recent past.

Though these letters have hardly affected attendance in any school or college, a large number of parents are worried about the safety of their children, especially daughters. “The first letter sent to the Agriculture University Public School was written in Pashto addressing the principal as “dear sister” last week. The second was written in Urdu,” an official of the University of Peshawar said.

The official added that three letters were later sent to the administration of the Islamia Collegiate School (Girls’ Section). These letters were received on January 13, 14 and 15.

“We brought the matter into the notice of the University Campus Police. A number of students and some suspicious lower-grade employees were questioned after which police have initially found that the letters were fake and were sent from within these institutions just for the fun,” an official claimed.

Meanwhile, more threatening letters were dispatched to the vice chancellor and the registrar of the Peshawar University on Saturday.
Source: The news
Date:1/18/2009

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