Atmosphere of mistrust: Student body says IJT defied PU’s ban on rallies

IJT supporters walked around but they were neither carrying any banners, placards nor did they chant any slogans.

Our Correspondent April 01, 2017

LAHORE: The Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) held, what its opponents called, a rally within the premises of Punjab University after Friday prayers, while a contingent of police and varsity security was deployed to keep matters in check.

After Friday prayers, a large number of students from the IJT gathered and walked past various departments of the PU, including Hailey College of Commerce, Law College, Centre for High Energy Physics among others. However, the participants were neither carrying any banners, placards nor did they chant any slogans.

According to the Pakhtun Education Development Movement (PEDM), the rally was a clear violation of the PU’s rules and an evidence of collusion between the administration and the IJT. “The rally was being led by the members of the IJT whom we have identified and nominated in the March 21 attack. Even the chief security officer of the university was videotaped by escorting one of the students of the Old Campus in his personal vehicle,” the spokesperson for the PEDM alleged.

The PEDM spokesman complained the administration and police were even seen providing protection to the IJT rally. “It appears that all the new rules and regulations have been enforced only to control anyone who opposed the IJT, including PEDM, Sindh and Baloch councils. This is the worst kind of discrimination by the PU administration.”

The PEDM representative further alleged that their students were being called by their respective departments and were told that if they continue protests, they would be rusticated.

“Such threats are being used against us, while on the other hand IJT is given a free-hand which is evident from today’s rally,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Taimour Khan, an IJT representative, said no rally was held at the PU campus on Friday. He said students got together after the Friday prayers and later on went to their hostel rooms. He said police officials and administration were also present at the campus. Responding to queries, the Punjab University spokesperson said students gathered to offer Friday prayers and no student chanted a slogan or carried a banner.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2017.


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