Black Day: KU teachers protest as varsity makes room for military personnel

Teachers’ association rejects decision of handing over any building to troops


Yusra Salim March 10, 2017
Photo: File

KARACHI: Condemning the decision of handing over different buildings of Karachi University (KU) to provide accommodation for military personnel, the Karachi University Teachers Society (Kuts) observed a Black Day on Friday.

Kuts president Dr Shakeel Farooqi recalled that it had been unanimously decided in the meeting on Monday attended by KU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan along with the deans of all the faculties and syndicate members that none of the varsity buildings will be allowed to be used for accommodation.

The meeting was informed that a letter has been sent to the East deputy commissioner in this regard. He questioned that why, after the unanimous decision, different buildings of youth hostels, special education department and new pharmacy building have been handed over to the armed forces.

Karachi University VC makes room for military personnel in youth hostels

The teachers’ association rejected the decision to hand over any building and demanded the university administration stand by their decision of not handing over any of the buildings to the armed forces. "Such activities in the varsity will directly affect the academic activities in the campus and specifically in the buildings that will be used by the military personnel," said Farooqi.

As part of the protest, members of Kuts donned black bands around their arms. However, classes were not called off and all the educational activities took place as per schedule.

Banners were also set up at different locations in the university to inform the students and other staff who are unaware of the ongoing issue of accommodation of the forces in the varsity.
Kuts has also called a general body meeting on Tuesday at Arts Auditorium in which the teachers will further plan their strategy about what should be done.

Karachi University rejects proposal to accommodate military personnel on campus

Meanwhile, the university's spokesperson confirmed that some of the buildings have been handed over to the military personnel. However, none of them were academic blocks, he claimed. The decision was taken keeping in view the Supreme Court's verdict that Pakistan Army will be helping in the census. The forces will be given the space in varsities for six weeks. "Non-academic blocks of the university were given to the forces and no academic activities will be affected by this," he assured, adding that KU has given the space to house the forces just like other varsities in the city did.

Takeover
One of faculty members told The Express Tribune that among the several buildings that are accommodating the armed forces include pharmacy faculty building, gymnasium, guest house, HEJ foreign faculty hostels and the building of special education department.

One side of the pharmacy building has been given to the forces while the other is still in use for academic activities. The entrance of the building is being manned by forces personnel and students and teachers are being stopped from entering from that side of the building. Other than that, a small check-post has also been set up at the entrance of the building by the armed forces.

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