HYDERABAD: A student from Sindh University’s (SU) Institute of Art and Design has accused a point bus driver of harassment and threats, stirring a protest by the university’s students on Friday. The varsity administration also took notice of the claim, with the SU transport in-charge Rehmatullah Shar lodging a case against the bus driver, Akhtar Khan.
However, the complainant, Iqra Shaikh, and other protesting students remained dissatisfied by the action, as Shar only mentioned the threats to her life in the FIR, ignoring the sexual harassment.
“He has been harassing me for three years,” the student claimed in a video statement on Thursday, hours after she submitted another application of harassment against Khan to the university. “He even tried to touch me several times,” said Shaikh of the driver.
She claimed that she had earlier filed a complaint against Khan at the university but no action was taken. The matter flared up when Khan suddenly accelerated the bus when Shaikh had still not taken her seat, causing her to fall in the bus, on Thursday.
She and other students later scolded the driver who allegedly reacted by threatening Shaikh. The student maintained that due to the continuous harassment, she has been unable to focus on her studies, adding that she often thought about withdrawing from her classes.
In a statement on Friday, the university claimed that Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Fateh Muhammad Burfat had discussed the matter with Hyderabad commissioner Muhammad Abbass Baloch and Hyderabad DIG Muhammad Naeem Shaikh. However, harassment issues have repeatedly occurred at SU in the past.
“Thousands of female students feel insecure. They are sometimes harassed by the teachers and sometimes by administrative officers,” alleged Mir Muzamil, who led a protest organized by the Mehran Students Council.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2020.