Madrasa students protest teacher's arrest
AIBAK (PAN): Hundreds of madrasa (seminary) students and religion scholars staged a protest in northern Samangan province on Sunday for the release of a cleric arrested by local intelligence agents.
The demonstrators said National Directorate of Security officials arrested Abdul Sattar Haq Nisar, the head of Madrasa Tanweer-ul-Afkar in Aibak four days ago on the charge of having links with Taliban and Al Qaeda.
The detainee was taken to Kabul, a participant of the demonstration, Abdul Wahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News. He insisted Nisar had no links with insurgents, saying 180 of his students have since been going without lessons.
The protestors gathered near the governor's office and warned of continuing with their protest until Nisar's release.
Deputy Governor Ghulam Sakhi promised he would discuss the protestors' demand with officials in Kabul. The protesting students had asked shopkeepers a day earlier to close their shops, Sakhi said. As a result, the whole bazaar in the provincial capital remained shut.
Najibullah, a shopkeeper, said: "Yesterday madrassa students came and warned us to close shops or they will ransack their goods." He asked government to prevent such demonstrations as worried the people.
Last year, two teachers and four students of Tanweer-ul-Afkar madrassa disarmed a police checkpoint and joined militants in Zhwandun Valley. A resident, who did not want to be named, said, the two teachers who joined the Taliban were Nisar's relatives.
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