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Cadet college principal arrested in Balochistan

Police on Tuesday told the Balochistan High Court that they have arrested the principal of Cadet College Mastung after a video of corporal punishment being administered to the institution’s students went viral on social media, DawnNewsTV reported.

“The principal of Mastung Cadet College, Javed Iqbal Bangash, has been arrested today on the court’s orders,” DIG Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Aitzaz Goraya told a two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Muhammad Noor Maskanzai and Justice Hashim Kakar today, adding that “steps are being taken to arrest all those involved in the torture”.

The incident, which had allegedly taken place on the principal’s orders on May 9, was taken up by the court after a petition was filed.

DIG Goraya informed the court that the students who had been subjected to torture had all undergone medical examinations.

“Never mind the medical examination, kindly brief the court regarding the registration of a First Information Report (FIR),” remarked Chief Justice Maskanzai.

At this, DIG Goraya assured the court that an FIR would be registered and a copy provided to the court soon.

The chief justice directed the personal secretary to the governor, Sajjad Bhutta, to supervise the “administrative side” of the investigation and DIG Goraya to oversee the “criminal side”.

Justice Kakar said that the incident has troubled the parents of the students enrolled at the cadet college and that others could now hesitate in admitting their children to the institution.

The court ordered the arrest of all the accused and asked for a report on the matter to be submitted expediently .

The case was adjourned until tomorrow.

It was not immediately known who had shot the video. However, a Mastung police official, who declined to be named, told Dawn that a student had managed to record the video.

A student, on condition of anonymity, said that Cadet College Mastung pupils were tortured by ex-students rather than teachers — at the behest of the principal.

“One of the students had slapped the principal’s son earlier so it was a revenge on the part of the principal,” said the student regarding the case in question.

Political parties, human rights activists and members of civil society lashed out at the administration of the college for subjecting students to torture.

The incident occurred despite the Balochistan government having already imposed a ban on corporal punishment in all educational institutions in the province.

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