From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi
Merciless police officers in Kumasi last Tuesday threw Kumasi Technical Institute (KTI) into a state of pandemonium and subjected students and staff of the school to severe beatings.
The elated students from KTI, who were jubilating their qualification for Super Zonals in the ongoing inter-schools competition at the Baba Yara sports stadium, were attacked and beaten mercilessly by the armed police officers.
The invasion of armed policemen into the school resulted in the destruction of meals for the evening on that particular day, as matrons and teachers also had their share of the assault.
As a result of the Rambo-style attack, 45 students were initially admitted after the armed police fired live and rubber bullets into the crowd, on reaching the KTI campus.
Not even when the students had sought refuge in their dormitories would the police stop the further unleashing of brutalities, amidst destruction of sliding glasses on the poor and defenceless students.
An alleged attack on a bus of Kumasi Wesley Girls High School, resulting in a broken glass by a KTI student, has been cited as having parked the hostilities.
This paper gathered that one person was arrested and taken to Asokwa police station by the police officers, who were on duty at the Baba Yara sports stadium.
The Chronicle has gathered that on Monday, KTI students, commonly known in the league of schools as ‘Canadians’, took hostage of the Amakom Traffic light for five minutes, blocking the flow of traffic as they celebrated their performance.
It took the KTI Cadet Corps to evacuate them from the road – the busiest highway in Ashanti region, a development people are alleging infuriated the police.
Infuriated by the takeover of traffic management, the police chased and assaulted the students, even after entering their campus.
A student who spoke on condition of anonymity to this paper said the police opened and threw teargas and pepper spray on them.
He recounted: “I hid under my bed, but the police pulled the bed and used the butt of the gun to hit the right and left sides of my waist, batting me with his metallic helmet, which had me bleeding from my nostrils.”
According to him, many of us are injured with gunshot wounds, including a teacher who is injured in the leg.
Sources at Ahwiam Clinic have it that around 6:16 pm, some students were rushed in for emergency attention. Another student also revealed that teargas was fired into the students, without any provocation.
Yet another student narrated that the policemen entered their dormitory and turned off the lights and started beating them with belts.
“One police man carried me out of the room, when I got out, another officer from nowhere came and batted me with his gun from behind. I gained consciousness on a hospital bed”, he said.
The Ashanti regional police command is tight lipped over the incidence.
The principal of KTI, Dr. Joseph Abeiku, was quoted on FOX FM as saying that the police only came in to attack them.
Authorities have asked the out-going Ashanti regional police commander, COP Kofi Boakye to open inquiry into this unprofessional conduct of his subordinates for redress.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who visited the school and engaged the students and authorities in a meeting, has condemned the attack on students by the police and the use of live bullets.
The Minister intends to petition Parliament to probe the incident.