The teachers leading the movement against the University of Sindh (SU) vice chancellor came under attack late Sunday night at the Super Highway.
Women rights activist Prof Amar Sindhu, the chairperson of the philosophy department at SU, was injured in the attack near Sajjad Restaurant as unidentified assailants opened fire at the two cars returning from Karachi with the office bearers of the SU Teachers Association inside.
The attackers sprayed the two cars with bullets and escaped. With burst tyres, the teachers took the cars to a nearby petrol pump.
The general secretary of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association, Prof Arfana Mallah, was also present in the car but escaped unscathed.
Mallah, who is also a writer and hosts a current affairs talk show on a Sindhi television channel KTN, has been leading the movement at the SU for removal of its vice chancellor Dr Nazir A Mughal. The movement had started after the murder of Prof Bashir Channar on January 2, but became dormant after Mughal was sent on forced leave on February 21. The protests revived, however, with the return of the vice chancellor on June 29.
Earlier on Sunday, the teachers had held a press conference along with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in Karachi. They had condemned the return of Mughal and the attitude of the provincial government regarding the higher education institutions in the province.
Mallah, who teaches at the SU, told The Express Tribune that she saw three men take positions and open fire at the cars. She ruled out the possibility of robbery since the attackers did not try to do steal their car.
“It appears to be a planned attack,” she said. At least three bullets hit her car.
A case has been lodged at the Gadap police station but due to the confusion over the police jurisdictions, the final FIR will be registered with the Sohrab Goth police.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2012.