Police deny assaulting Kumasi Girls’ SHS students during protest

by Isaac Mintah
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 The Ashanti Regional Police Command has denied claims that its personnel deployed to calm protesting Kumasi Girls’ Senior High School students physically abused some of the students.

This in spite of the fact that some of the affected students have shared their experiences with  bruises on their bodies.

In a statement, the police said the “stories and videos are false, untruths and a fabrication to bring the Police Service into disrepute and we condemn this action in no uncertain terms.”

The police also said the Military was not involved in calming the protests as had been alleged by some students.

“The only Military Officers who were present at Kumasi Girls Secondary School were part of a joint patrol team who were close to the school and had gone there to verify what was happening.”

The students were protesting over the decision not to allow final year SHS students to go home for the mid-semester break as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Ghana Education Service rescinded an earlier directive for final year Senior High School students to go home for a six-day mid-semester break.

A similar protest took place at the St. Louis Senior High School, also in Kumasi.

“In both cases, the Police were able to persuade the students to return to their dormitories and calm was restored in both Schools thereafter,” the police noted in the statement.

The police also accused some media houses of having published “false stories” with respect to the claims.

“The Command would be grateful if you go back to the Schools and ascertain the true facts,” the statement noted.

“We are also aware of some false videos purported to be that of the incident and advice the publishers to take these down or else, the Command shall subject them to strict proof and failing, we shall take the necessary actions available.”

The allegations

One student who spoke to Citi News on condition of anonymity said soldiers broke into their dormitories, pulled students out and beat them with sticks.

Others said the soldiers stamped on them in presence of their house mistresses.

“[On Monday] we started making noise, breaking veronica buckets and dustbins and other things, chanting that we wanted to go home and that we are starving.”

“Later in the day, we were in the dormitory when soldiers came around and started hitting us with sticks and even if you are lying on your bed, they will pull you down and cane you. They stepped on people’s abdomen,” she recounted.

A prefect at the school also recounted that: “they banged doors, broke into dormitories and hit students. Some have red eyes and face now,” she said.

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