A violent student riot broke out at the St Bernadette Technical Institute in Navrongo in the Upper East Region on Saturday night (13 May) leading to the injury of police officers and destruction of school and police properties.
The cause of the riot has yet to be established, but sources said a disagreement between two student groups playing a football match triggered the disturbances.
The school management made an attempt to stop the match which was being played between students of the institute from Bolgatanga and their colleagues from Bongo.
The students are reported to have, however, resisted the attempt by the school management and turned against each other in a fight.
The group fighting later grew into a full-blown riot which led to the destruction of school property including furniture, parts of buildings and the school’s only pick-up truck.
Damage to police property
The disturbances also caused harm to the Police. Two Police officers including the Navrongo District commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kingsley Kofi Kanda, who had led twenty men to douse the situation in response to the distress call, were injured by the marauding students.
DSP Kanda sustained a fracture in his right leg and cuts on his face and other parts of his body. The other officer identified as Constable Antwi Emmanuel of the Formed Police Unit (FPU) of the Paga Base, sustained a deep cut below his right eye.
The students reportedly turned against the law enforcers and attacked them with stones and other objects.
The two were admitted at the War Memorial Hospital in Navrongo for treatment but have since been discharged.
Two police pick-up trucks which were used to transport the officers were damaged. One of the vehicles had all its window glasses shattered. There were also breakages to the windscreens of the two vehicles.
The police also lost two Gota sets in the disturbances. One was for the commander and the other one belonged to the district police Motorbike Patrol Unit.
Arrest of 33 suspects
Following intelligence, the police between Saturday and Sunday (13 and 14 May) managed to arrest 33 suspects in connection with the riot.
Among the suspects is a teacher (name withheld) of the school. The students who have been arrested are aged between 15 – 21 years.
On Monday (15 May), the suspects were charged with causing harm and causing unlawful Damage and put before the Circuit Court in Bolgatanga.
The plea of the accused persons was not taken. They have, however, been granted bail even though they (accused persons) failed to meet the bail conditions.
The accused persons are still in detention at the Navrongo District Police Station to reappear in court on Tuesday, 30 May 2023.
School closed down
The management, following the disturbances, has temporarily closed down the school. The closure is to among other things facilitate an investigation into the recurrent riots.
All students have been driven out of the campus and a visit to the school by Asaase News’ Senyalah Castro reveals an empty campus.
There were traces of blood stains, pieces of broken glass and broken furniture on the campus.
History of riots.
The latest riot adds to numerous disturbances that have rocked the school. In the recent past, students of the school have risen against the school’s management over poorly prepared meals, poor management, among others.
The past disturbances were also characterised by the vast destruction of school property.
Although the students have vacated the school’s premises, armed police personnel are still stationed on the campus as part of continued efforts to maintain calm and orderliness.
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