Irate pupils from public primary schools Tuesday descended on a police officer, leaving him for the dead at Lunzu Trading Centre in Blantyre.
The pupils were demostrating against government failure to pay leave grant arrears to their teachers.The teachers embarked on a nationwide strike on June 5.
There are about 63,000 primary school teachers who are yet to receive leave grants with the highest getting K33, 000.
According to an eye-witness, the officer identified as Zuwao from Chileka Police Station, threw tear-gas canisters at the demonstrating pupils.
“The officer ran out of his canisters. The pupils threw stones at him until they caught up with him. They beat him up and he was rescued by vendors who took him to hospital.
Southern Region Police Spokesperson, Ramsey Mushani, confirmed the incident but claimed that the officer was assaulted by people who took advantage of the demonstration. He refused to identify the officer.
Mushani said the police officer, who has sustained serious injuries, has been admitted to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre.
“We managed to contain the pupils who were rioting but some people took advantage of the demonstrations and assaulted our police officer. We are yet to be served with a comprehensive report from colleagues who were on the ground,” he said.
Mushani also said the people were trying to break into a Peoples Shop at the trading centre.
Meanwhile, 23 people including nine pupils in Ntcheu District are facing a charge of intentionally endangering safety of persons travelling on the road contrary to Section 237(a) of Penal Code.
The suspects will appear before Ntcheu First Grade Magistrate’s Court today.
In the course of the demonstrations that turned violent in Ntcheu District, the pupils and the people threw missiles and blocked the Blantyre-Lilongwe Road.