E-mailing poem: Bahria University student arrested for 'threatening' staffers

Univer­sity expels him for threatening staff members by forwarding ‘poem’ by famous Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Sidrah Moiz/peer Muhammad April 08, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police on Sunday arrested Arsalan Bilal, a student of Bahria University who had gone on a hunger strike for an indefinite period of time from April 6, Friday, in front of the university campus in order to protest his rustication.

Bilal was taken to Margalla Police Station around 10am today morning, where police officials say that they brought him for “his own safety” as they feared that he might do something “hazardous” to himself.

No case has yet been registered against him.

Bahria University had reportedly expelled Bilal for threatening staff members by forwarding a ‘poem’ by famous Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, which he also forwarded to his friend circle in the same e-mail thread.

The university had also declared Arsalan Bilal “psychologically unstable”.

Speaking to The Express Tribune Bilal said that the police officials have “confined him and are not letting him protest for his rights.”

He said that he has been detained in a room at the police station and the police officers are not letting him go, while his family still remains unaware of his arrest.

“I will continue to protest till my death,” said Bilal who objected to his arrest which was made “without any warrant.”

I was protesting to get my 14 demands fulfilled by the university administration, when in the morning today, a sub-inspector came and arrested me outside the university premises.”

Bilal also alleged that some officials from Pakistan Navy contacted him, trying to “pressurise” him.

“A person, who identified himself as Irfan and claimed to be an official of the Pakistan Navy called me and told me to end my hunger strike. I told him to come and meet me outside the university, where I was staging a hunger strike.”

He further added, “Some unnamed officials from intelligence agencies came and took my pictures from a digital camera.”

Bilal who also runs Insight News – Bahria University, a Facebook page dedicated to news related to the institution, had also questioned the role of ex-naval officials and certain faculty members policies in the university.

He had been discouraged in pursuing his undergraduate research in politicisation of religion in Pakistan and had reportedly faced discrimination as he belongs to a minority sect.


Ali Raza | 9 years ago | Reply Bahria university is not a any institute its just like a Military academy where treat to every body just like a Military academy
Tony C. | 9 years ago | Reply

I am not really certain about all the facts involved with Arsalan Bilal, but my experience at university is that senior personnel were dictatorial and in spite of their arguing to the contrary they were not really interested in students determining the truth in several areas such as history, politics, and many aspects of medicine and science due to religious, political and commercial pressures. This young man has my sympathy, but he will lose.

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