QUETTA: Vice chancellor of University of Balochistan (UoB), Dr Javid Iqbal, stepped down on Sunday after being accused of involvement in a scandal related to harassment of students at the province’s biggest varsity.
According to a notification issued by the Balochistan governor’s office, Dr Iqbal decided to step down to let the FIA conduct fair inquiry into the recent cases of harassment at the varsity.
On Saturday, Fareed Achakzai, a professor, had claimed that Vice Chancellor Dr Jawed Iqbal was fired for harassing foreign students in 1992.
Balochistan University students continue protest against campus harassment
Dr Iqbal, on the other hand, has rejected these accusations. “These allegations are based on lies,” he said. “Achakzai is not even a professor. He is a lecturer but claims to be a professor. He has been involved in appointing people illegally.”
The university and Dr Iqbal have been receiving widespread criticism after students claimed that CCTV footage was being used by the administration to blackmail female students for sexual favours.
Along with the CCTV cameras on campus, the students have said they were being monitored through additional cameras and microphones placed in washrooms and smoking areas.
The university’s professors and staff members confirmed to the media that they have seen these ‘secret cameras’.
The MPAs and the high court have ordered an investigation.
Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail had directed the FIA last month to investigate complaints of students being harassed at the varsity and submit a report by October 27.
The FIA has been examining the case for several weeks now.
The officials, however, refused to reveal their findings.
“We have not arrested any official of the university and will inform the media through a press conference,” an FIA officer said.
Balochistan assembly slams campus harassment scandal
Various student organisations held protests to denounce the VC as “head of the blackmailers and saviour of the culprits.”
Balochistan Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai, who is also chancellor of all provincial universities, earlier vowed to take strict action against criminals involved in harassing and blackmailing students.
He urged citizens and students to show restraint, assuring them that the provincial government and university administration would fulfill their legal responsibilities.
“Student organisations and teacher associations should refrain from provoking people until completion of the FIA probe,” he said.
“The hooligans who harassed and blackmailed students would be dealt with strictly and punished for maligning the mother educational institution of Balochistan,” said Yasinzai.