Around 300 students and former students of Punjab University’s (PU) Institute of Plant Pathology (IPP) staged a protest in front of vice-chancellor’s (VC) office.
Some students also ‘tried to burn themselves’ to highlight the administration’s alleged failure to resolve the issue of their degrees.
Later, a team of students headed by Tariq Manzoor met with PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran who said he had removed all their reservations. The students too declared themselves satisfied with his proposals.
Earlier, Adnan Saeed, Tariq Manzoor, Wajid Hussain, Muhammad Atif and Lubna doused themselves with petrol and a fire was lighted. However, serious injury was averted by security officials.
Advisor to the PU VC Col (retd) Ikramullah and PU chief security officer Major (retd) Arif ordered the guards to break the protest, forcibly if necessary. The police and security guard then beat students. “The Colonel likes to hear women scream which is why he has ordered the guards to beat female students,” Lubna said. She claimed that the administration was on a plot to ‘torture IPP students’.
Col (retd) Ikramullah and Major (retd) Arif tried to prevent the media from covering the protest. The gates of the varsity were closed. A reporter and a cameraman were briefly detained and presented before Col (retd) Ikramullah.
The reporter said the advisor tried to intimidate him and told him not to report the protest. The colonel was not available for comment.
Later, a press release issued by the PU stated that the VC had told the students that a permanent director of the institution would be hired by the end of the month and that vacancies for teachers posts would be advertised by the end of the month.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2011.