Balochistan colleges remain closed as tension prevails

Express May 19, 2010

QUETTA: Educational institutions in different parts of Balochistan remained closed on Tuesday due to a volatile security situation.

Authorities announced on Monday that all colleges and universities will remain closed following clashes between two student groups. More than forty people were wounded when activists of the Baloch Student Organisation and the Pakhtun Student Organisation clashed at Quetta’s Agriculture College. Soon afterwards clashes spread to other universities and colleges of the province.

On Tuesday, academic activities remained suspended in the University of Balochistan Quetta, Engineering University Khuzadar, Agricultural College Quetta, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University, Bolan Medical College and Lasbela University of Marine Sciences. Heavy contingents of law enforcement agencies were deployed at all major educational institutions of Quetta to keep the situation under control. A shutter-down strike was observed in some cities of the province, including Gwadar, Turbat, Nushkhi and Mand.

All markets and business centres remained closed for the day. The strike call was given by the Baloch Students Republican Organisation (BRSO) in protest against the arrest of Baloch students during Monday’s clashes. The organisation claimed that security forces arrested around 200 Baloch students without any reason. Activists of the Baloch Students Organisation (BSOAzad) also staged a rally in Nushkhi to condemn the arrest of Baloch students.

The administration of the University of Balochistan has announced that the university will remain closed for three days while hostels have been closed for an indefinite period. Most of the students, hailing from remote areas, criticised the decision, saying it will affect their future. “I belong to Panjgur, 530 kilometres from here, now I have no idea whether to go home or wait for reopening of the university,” Jalil Ahmed, a student of the University of Balochistan told The Express Tribune.

Published in the Express  Tribune, May 19th, 2010.

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