DERA ISMAIL KHAN: In response to the brazen stabbing of a female student in the dean’s office, Gomal University suspended two professors and a security guard on Tuesday, for failing to act to prevent the brutal attack.
Vice Chancellor Mansoor Akbar Kundi issued orders to suspend Assistant Professors Nematullah and Abdul Halim, along with security guard Faridullah, for failing to take any actions to help Mariam*, a first year student who was seriously wounded after Arshad* Mehsud attacked her at the Faculty of Agriculture.
Arshad had chased Mariam all the way to the agriculture faculty dean’s office where he stabbed her several times in the presence of faculty members and security personnel who did nothing to stop the attacker.
The vice chancellor appears to be acting under public pressure, both from government officials as well as student groups on campus.
The Seraiki Students Movement at the university in particular has been actively championing Mariam’s cause. They have been calling for the suspension of all faculty members who failed to help Mariam, including the agriculture faculty dean, Syed Mir. They also demanded that police officials in the district should either arrest the attacker or resign from their posts.
The university administration finally appears to be responding. During a meeting of the Syndicate (the university’s governing body) last week, it was decided that the dean of the agriculture faculty, along with all those who were present at the scene of the attack but did not help the victim. Sardar Israrullah Kandapur, the head of the syndicate and a member of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, called on Governor Masood Kausar to intervene in the matter and take action against the accused attacker.
Meanwhile, Mariam is now at her home in Islamia Colony, a neighbourhood in Dera Ismail Khan city. Rustam Khan, her father, was succinct in his demands: “My daughter has been wronged and justice should be done.”
*Names have been changed to protect identities