ISLAMABAD: The absence of proper security arrangements made it easy for militants to attack Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, the varsity’s top official admitted on Thursday.
Gunmen armed with grenades and Kalashnikovs stormed the university on Wednesday, killing as many as 21 people, including students and a professor, besides injuring over 30 others.
A day later, Vice Chancellor Dr Fazal-i-Rahim Marwat said the teaching staff, administrative personnel, parents and students demonstrated exceptional resolve even in the face of a tragedy of such magnitude. “Students and all the staff members showed high spirits yesterday and even today,” he said.
Although the campus is officially closed due to security concerns, the vice chancellor along with a few staff members and students paid a visit to the university on Thursday. “Many students also took part in the counter action led by security forces and fought against the attackers. Most of the male students rescued their female counterparts during and after the attack,” Dr Marwat told The Express Tribune.
The vice chancellor was on his way to his office on Wednesday when he had to take shelter at a nearby police station after being informed by the university administration of the terrorist attack under way at the campus.
The militants did not use the front entrance, and instead chose to cut through the fence wire at the back to avoid a few levies personnel deployed at the front of the university building. Although the adjacent sugarcane fields, dense fog and short boundary walls have been blamed for the brazen attack, the event exposed the lack of proper security arrangements employed at the campus to tackle any possible terror threat.
The VC did not directly complain about the absence of a reasonable number of security personnel, but shared that “there are only 50 levies personnel available for a 200-canal campus with 3,000 students.”
He also clarified he held nothing against the security personnel. “They are low-paid, untrained daily wagers without any modern weapons. Who will be ready to offer his head for just Rs350?”