LAHORE: The Punjab University administration bowed down to the demands of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) and forwarded an application to the Iqbal Town precinct to take action against five Pakhtun students allegedly involved in the March 21 clash.
Late Thursday, the IJT announced a protest outside the PU campus for Friday to condemn the varsity’s action against its members, terming it ‘one sided’.
However, the varsity administration was able to convince IJT not to take to the streets and accepted their demands.
The Punjab University had announced action against 17 IJT students for their involvement in the March 21 clash and suspended 10 students. The details of the seven expelled students were provided to police for further legal action. The university announced it had initiated phase-wise action and this was the first step.
On Friday, the IJT called off the protest in exchange for action against Pakhtun students, whom it alleged had attacked their members.
The university administration, in a letter to the Iqbal Town SP and Muslim Town SHO, identified five Pakhtun students.
The IJT also announced it would protest if the police failed to take action in the next eight hours.
“It is intimidated that the following personnel have been identified by the fact finding committee for disciplinary action as they are offenders involved in beating fellow students in a brutal manner. Therefore, it has been decided by the PU that the police department may start criminal proceedings according to the law,” the letter stated.
The PU, in a statement, said it had taken action against eight more students involved in the March 21 clash in the second phase.
PU spokesman Khurram Shahzad said the varsity suspended five students and issued charge-sheets to them, seeking reply in seven days.
He said the names of these five students had also been forwarded to police officials to initiate criminal proceedings.
The five students are Institute of Education and Research’s Dawood Khan, Department of Gender Studies’ Alamgeer Khan, Institute of Business Administration’s Abdul Waris Khan, Department of Political Science’s Daulat Khan and Salman Shah and Muhammad Bilal of the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies.
The spokesman said the administration initiated disciplinary proceedings against students involved in the incident, indiscriminately, and without any pressure.
The spokesman highlighted that the administration was taking action as per rules and regulations and offenders had been identified on the basis of evidence.
Reacting to the decision, Pakhtun Education Development Movement (PEDM) member Jaffar Khan said the decision was baffling “There is no footage or other evidence against students targeted in the letter, except for the word of the IJT. We strongly condemn such actions and will protest against this decision of the Punjab University administration.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2017.