The Star (Nairobi)

4 August 2012

Kenya: Police Storm Class, Arrest Teacher and Teargas Pupils

Police in Igembe North were yesterday under fire after hounding a teacher out of class on suspicion that he is a robber. The police further teargassed pupils of Kamweline Primary School when they demonstrated against the arrest of David Karanja. Witnesses said the police stormed a classroom and dragged Karanja out of class.

They said he was beaten by the police during the confrontation.

The commotion caused his class to scream, attracting the attention of the entire school. It was then that all pupils got out of class and protested against the police. They followed the police and Karanja to the Laare station, where he was being held yesterday. Witnesses said the police were angered by the demonstrating children and they fired teargas canisters to disperse them.

In its response, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers in Meru condemned the arrest. Kuppet secretary Julius Taitumu disputed the allegations that Karanja has taken part in a robbery. "The police could have arrested the teacher outside the school either before he entered the school in the morning or in the evening while leaving school," Taitumu said.

"Alternatively, considering that the teacher is a civil servant, they could have sent the head teacher with instructions that the teacher reports to the police station. He cannot run away for 14 days since this would amount to termination of his duty."

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