Two assistant professors paid the price of denying admission to a student recommended by a student union, whose members beat them up on Wednesday.
Asghar Dashti and Faisal Javed are assistant professors in the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (Fuuast) international relations department. They were approached by members of the student group, Peoples Student Federation (PSF), to grant admission to someone. When the teachers refused, the students started beating them up with sticks.
Following the incident, a large number of police and Rangers men reached the varsity’s Maulvi Abdul Haq campus off MA Jinnah Road. At least three students, Omar Akbar, Tariq and Sher Muhammad belonging to the PSF, were arrested while a case, FIR no 25/16, has been registered at Eidgah police station against 10 students for beating up the teachers. The remaining suspects – Bashir, Mohsin Khan, Tariq Iqbal, Abid, Shahbaz Baloch, Sheraz Ahmed and Muhammad Ali – have yet to be arrested.
“So far, we have registered a case against 10 students and also arrested three of them,” said City District SP Zeeshan Siddiqui, while talking to The Express Tribune. “The remaining [students] will be arrested soon.”
According to SP Siddiqui, the cause of the clash has yet to be determined. “We are not sure why the teachers were beaten up but it is clear that it should not have happened,” he said. “No student is allowed to argue or beat up a teacher.”
SP Siddiqui shared that the teachers have given multiple reasons. One of them said that the students tortured him after he refused to give admission to their colleague. Another one said that they were beaten up for not letting the students cheat.
In their initial statements, the arrested students admitted to beating up the two assistant professors as they supported members of their rival students group, the Islami Jamiat-e-Talba (IJT).
Wednesday’s incident was a reaction to that, said SP Siddiqui, adding that investigations are underway.
Meanwhile, Fuuast administration has cancelled the admissions of all 10 students for creating a law and order situation on campus and beating the teachers up. The students are prohibited from entering the university premises.
“I was taking an orientation class of MPhil and PhD students at around 11:30 in the morning when I heard the uproar,” narrated Dashti, one of the injured teachers. “I went outside the classroom and saw that some PSF members were smashing windows on our floor.” Dashti’s department is located on the second floor of the building.
“They hit me and when another assistant professor of the same department, Faisal Javed, tried to resist and calm them down, they beat him up as well and dragged us to the ground floor of the campus,” he said. One of the PSF members hit Dashti with a wooden stick causing a head injury, which led to four stitches, he said, adding that they also pelted stones and smashed the windows of several classrooms.
According to Dashti, the PSF members were upset with him as, last month, he was working as in-charge for BA and BCom private exams at their Gulshan campus. Since he barred one of the students from cheating, he suspects the group was holding a grudge.
Student groups deny involvement
For their part, IJT South president Waseem Sajjad insisted that it was merely a little dispute between the students and the teachers. The administration politicised the issue and involved the student wings, he said.
The PSF also held the same opinion. Two students fought with each other and there is no involvement of the PSF or IJT when it comes to beating up the teachers, PSF Karachi division president Javed Baloch. “If any member [of PSF] is found guilty of thrashing a teacher, he will be suspended,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2016.