Many people linked to Lakehead Grammar School fought for the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam claimed on Tuesday while arguing the government’s case for closing the institution.
The attorney general was briefing reporters following the hearing of a petition filed with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court which challenges a High Court order to reopen the school.
“One of their Majors was even killed by law enforcement officials during the Mirpur raid in Dhaka,” Mahbubey Alam told reporters at his office following the hearing.
On November 6, the Ministry of Education ordered the Dhaka district administration to shut down all branches of Lakehead Grammar School over allegations that the institution was patronising militancy and involved in ‘anti-liberation’ activities.
The attorney general added that he knew of “frightening details” regarding the school, on which he had submitted classified documents to the Supreme Court.
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“The school does not have a governing body (and) they do not provide advertisements when recruiting teachers,” he said.
“Many of their former and current teachers and officials face allegations of being involved in terrorism-related activities. Even the government has alleged that the founder of the school is involved in terrorism.”
However, the school’s lawyers claimed that the court could not authenticate the documents provided by the attorney general.
Earlier in the hearing, a five-member Appellate Division bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, directed the Ministry of Education to form within seven days a new managing committee at Lakehead Grammar School, with the divisional commissioner of Dhaka as the panel’s president and an army official as the principal.
The court also stayed for one week a High Court order to reopen the school.
“The new committee will be able to resume the academic and other operational activities once it is formed,” said Rashna Imam, one of the lawyers who represented the school owners and guardians of the students during on Tuesday
Three days after the order was issued to close the school, the High Court issued a rule asking the government to explain why the suspension of the school’s academic activities would not be illegal.
Barrister Rashna Imam filed three writ petitions on behalf of Khaled Hasan Matin, the new owner of the school, and the guardians of 12 students of the school.
On November 14, the High Court also ordered reopening of the school within 24 hours, but the chamber judge stayed that order following a plea from the state.