The Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police, Francis Munu has condemned yesterday’s police brutality on protesting students of Njala University.
Francis Munu, who spoke to BBC’s Umaru Fofona this morning 24th March 2017 said that he warned his officers to use only teargas if the student protests deteriorated and never lethal force – or bullets.
The opposite was the case in yesterday’s students protest where Police in Bo fired tear gas and live bullets which lead to the killing of an eighteen-year-old non student while second year accounting student, Mohamed Morlu was critically injured. Two others were also reportedly shot in the breast and in the stomach.
The Njala University students had staged what they called “Back Thursday” in Bo and Freetown to demand the reopening of their university three months after it was due to commence lectures.
In Bo, students set up road blocks to disrupt normal flow of vehicular traffic prompting the Police to use tear gas and live bullets to disperse the demonstrators which left in its wake the death of an eighteen year old Peter Tiffa, a resident of Bo.
Like their colleagues in Bo, the Njala students in Freetown also set up road blocks around the vicinity of State Lodge at Hill Station to seek the attention of President Ernest Bai Koroma to their plight.
A number of students have been arrested across the country in connection with the Black Thursday demonstration.
Meanwhile, it is reported that President Koroma yesterday afternoon met with student leaders to resolve the crisis. Details of that meeting were not available as at press time.
The demonstration was triggered by a sit down strike which lecturers of the university had embarked on since the reopening of the college three months ago demanding payment of backlog allowances.
Recently, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education infuriated the striking lecturers by claiming that government does not owe them a single dime in allowances.