Reports reaching The Voice Newspaper has it the Inter School Zonal Athletic Championship involving Senior Secondary Schools in the Central River Region (CRR) and the Upper River Region (URR) turned bloody after a fracas erupted between the host Armitage and Bansang.
Sources said “the competition stated well but could not end well due to a fracas between Armitage and Bansang.” Many students were reported to have been injured and some others were still admitted at Bansang Hospital at the time of going to press.
Sources added that the brawl also led to the intervention by personnel of the police intervention unit (PIU) who are alleged to have used tear gas sprays to quell the situation. Some students are said to have suffered from the tear gas. “One female student lost one of her eye sight, window glasses of vehicles were smashed, including Armitage’s school library, the assembly hall and the Vice Principal’s quarters. Fourteen students and non-students were arrested but were released this morning,” our source said.
The Senior Secondary Schools zonal athletics competition was held on Saturday Feb. 12, at Janjanbureh, CRR, contested by seven schools out of which five from CRR and the other two from URR. The schools that participated were, Armitage, Bansang, Brikamaba, Niani, Niamina, Nasir and Giyabugu.
Recounting on his encounter, the Vice President of the Senior Secondary Schools Zonal Sport Association, who is also the Principal of Bansang Ismaila Ceesay said before the event was started they invited the security and immediately after the event, the security left.
He noted that by that time, many schools left the ground except Bansang, Brikamaba and Niamina. He stated that when his people entered the truck on their way back, Armitage students started stoning them.
According to him, when it came to his notice, led his teachers to address the situation, but he was also injured on the head during the process. He alleged that some of the students jumped over the fence of the campus and advanced towards the Bansang students and suddenly it was raining stones.
Despite all that, he said he tried to control his students but Armitage students continued stoning them. He asserted that when the truck went around Janjanbureh Health Centre, some boys who were standing there also rained stones on his students.
“Two female students were seriously injured. They were taken to the health centre and later referred to the Bansang Hospital where they discovered that the other girl lost one of her eye sight,” Mr. Ceesay lamented.
He blamed the staff of Armitage whom alleged to have refused to show up and stop their students. “The students listen to their teachers more than the security,” he said.
Mr. Ceesay also expressed dismay over the security setup at Janjanbureh, accusing them of saying “last year Armitage students were beaten in Bansang and this time Armitage will retaliate”.