MIRANSHAH: Teachers in North Waziristan tribal district again staged protest for release of their arrested colleagues on Thursday.

A large number of teachers gathered outside Miranshah Press Club in the morning and staged protest demonstration. The protesting teachers were holding banners and placards inscribed with demands of release of their arrested colleagues.

Teachers in North Waziristan have locked 900 government schools in the tribal district for the last three days in protest against the arrest of their three colleagues. Due to closure of these schools, about 150,000 students are deprived of education.

Representatives of All Teachers Association in North Waziristan said two of the arrested teachers have been released, while one is still in custody of the law enforcement agencies. They said the protest will continue till the release of their colleague.

Participants of the protest said the arrest of teachers for the sins of their fathers or brothers was unjust. They said this unjust practice must come to an end now after merger of tribal districts with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They said they will never tolerate interference of anyone in the educational institutions and will continue to raise voice for their rights.

The first protest against the arrest of schoolteachers was staged on Monday during which the protesting teachers had warned that they would lock the government schools if their colleagues were not released immediately.

However, after no release of arrested teachers, the teachers of North Waziristan implemented their threat and closed 900 schools, due to which education activities in the whole tribal district came to a standstill. Besides boys’ schools, the girls’ schools in North Waziristan have also been closed during the protest. Parents of the students have also expressed concern over closure of schools.

In the earlier protest, All Teachers Association representatives said that they were performing their duties responsibly, but the district administration was harassing schoolteachers in North Waziristan after operation Zarb-e-Azb.

“We can never tolerate the arrest of schoolteachers,” said Aziz Dawar, Chairman all Teachers Association. “A few days ago three of our teachers were arrested without any reason or crime,” Dawar had stated.

It is not clear on what charges the three schoolteachers were arrested.