LAHORE: The Punjab University has directed all administration heads to complete the records of all students for its newly-established centralised Students Record Management System in four days.
According to a letter issued to all deans, directors, chairmen and other heads of the university from the registrar of the varsity titled most urgent and time-bound, the university had asked to complete the management system for the centralised database. The database contains information, including personal information, of all current and former students. The letter asked the heads to complete the database within four days.
The letter stated, “The Students Record Management System has been developed to keep records of the personal and educational information of all on-campus students, in all the constituent colleges, departments, institutes, centres of the University of the Punjab. However, the records for previous sessions and graduate, masters-level on-campus students’ records are still incomplete”.
It further stated that the minister for higher education in a meeting with the vice chancellor on January 23, 2018, directed to complete the database, while, it said that the completion of the on-campus students’ records of all the previous/current sessions was the first step for the centralisation.
The move comes after a clash between student organisations at the Punjab University campus which resulted in the arrests of more than 200 students, while leaving more than a dozen injured. The fight also led to the Electrical Engineering Department is set on fire and subsequently, an FIR was registered against the students.
The police presented the 196 students arrested before an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC). The ATC Judge sent the 177 students accused of vandalism and clashing with each other were sent on a 14-day judicial remand; while 19 students, accused of firing, were sent on a 7-day physical remand.
However, on the intervention of the Balochistan Chief Minister and a visit by Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, the terrorism charges were dropped. Bugti, while speaking at a press conference on Saturday at the Punjab University, demanded that action should be taken against all student organisations, without any discrimination. Bugti blamed the weak administration for the incident and asked the Punjab government to empower the university administration. He also demanded that a clean-up operation should be conducted to root out miscreants from the university.
Bugti called to uphold the ban on student unions and said that he would not support any move to reinstate student unions in educational institutions of the country. He said that the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) should not use violent means for their politics. He said that there were conspiracies to divide Pakistan on ethnic grounds.
Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani said that criminal charges registered against the students would be withdrawn and only disciplinary action would be taken. He said that students would be treated as students and disciplinary action would only be taken against students, who had been repeatedly involved in incidents of violence and clashes.
Seven students freed on bail
On Saturday evening, around 7 students were freed on bail, while others were still under custody. Muzamil Khan, a
member of the Pakhtun Education Development Movement (PEDM), told The Express Tribune that 7 of their members were freed from police custody, however, he said that around 180 were still in custody. He said that because of a holiday, they would try to get the rest of the students freed on bail on Monday.
When contacted, Punjab University spokesperson said that bail of the students was a legal issue and university administration had no role in it. He said that those involved in the incident would be dealt according to law and the administration would take stern action against them.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2018.
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