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LDA seals private school in Lahore while children are in classes

LDA seals private school in Lahore while children are in classes

LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) on Wednesday morning sealed a private school as classes were underway, confining faculty, administration and students to school premises.

The move caused teachers, students and children's parents to panic as they found themselves locked inside Askari Public School located in a densely-populated residential neighbourhood in Lahore's Johar Town area.

After hearing of the development, parents rushed to the school in an attempt to get their children evacuated from the building.

After media reports highlighted the development and ran television footage showing children stuck inside the building, an unidentified man appeared at the site and removed the seal from the gate of the building.

DawnNews reported that the man was an LDA official, but his identity has not been confirmed by the LDA as yet.

The unidentified man fled without responding to queries of the media men present there and avoided making any contact with school administration.

LDA Spokesperson Sohail Janjua claimed the school had been sealed for nonpayment of commercial fees for the past one year.

He also claimed that standard operating procedure was followed before sealing the school, which involves serving a notice to school administration. Janjua added that the school administration was served a notice and warned a night before taking the step.

Janjua alleged that the school administration had not obtained a no-objection certificate from neighbours, which he said was mandatory prior to opening a school in a residential area.

School principal Professor Mahmood told DawnNews he had been running the school for the last eight years and claimed that he was not served any prior notice by LDA officials.

He added that he would contact the concerned authorities and that he was ready to pay outstanding dues, if any. Prof Mahmood was of the opinion that sealing a school with pupils in classes could not be justified by any means.

Parents at the school protested strongly against the step taken by the LDA.

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