Sectarian violence: Two killed, seven injured in university clashes

Published: December 13, 2012
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Gilgit has a bloody history of sectarianism but saw unprecedented peace during Muharram as Sunnis and Shias rallied together despite threats of suicide attacks.

Gilgit has a bloody history of sectarianism but saw unprecedented peace during Muharram as Sunnis and Shias rallied together despite threats of suicide attacks.

GILGIT: Two people, including a policeman, were killed and seven others injured after two students groups clashed in Gilgit on Wednesday.

“According to our information, two have been killed and seven others injured,” Sajjadul Haq, a senior government official at the chief minister office, told The Express Tribune.

DIG Ali Sher confirmed the two deaths but put the number of injured at six. Tensions raged the town since Wednesday morning when a group of students organised a religious event inside the campus despite the ban imposed by the Karakoram International University (KIU).

KIU has initiated disciplinary action against at least 17 students who violated the ban. One student has been expelled while 16 students have been banned from entering the university for three years, said a KIU press release. It further added that those who manhandled the university’s security officials will be fined Rs7,000 each.

Rival students sects’ protested the event through a sit-in outside the Gilgit-Baltistan assembly. When the event at KIU ended, the students were stopped by the police near the central police office to avoid a confrontation. However, the day-long demonstrations culminated into violence as firing was reported across the city.

KIU spokesperson Shahid Shigri said that the university banned sectarian events inside its premises after two groups representing rival sects planned separate events, rejecting the university’s proposal to hold joint programmes.

Gilgit has a bloody history of sectarianism but saw unprecedented peace during Muharram as Sunnis and Shias rallied together despite threats of suicide attacks.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • ali
    Dec 13, 2012 - 10:01AM

    KIU administrartion is responsible of this whole tension.

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  • Rashid Baig
    Dec 13, 2012 - 12:49PM

    Some facts are missing in this report
    1. Members of banned outfit TNA & MSO were protesting near CM House and they clashed with Police. Consquently, one protestor and one policeman killed and many other injured. It is not true to say that two students group clashed.
    2. Last day, two high profile detainees involved in target killings have escaped from a high security jail located in Jotyal Gilgit, apparently with the help of jail authorities. The protests were carried to divert the attention of law enforcement agencies away from the escape of prisoners.

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  • MK
    Dec 13, 2012 - 7:00PM

    This is due to the dirty politics played by a group of people in the name of religion. Celebrating Imam Hussain (R.A) day for show off and other political reasons is really a disgrace to His name.

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  • shoaib
    Dec 13, 2012 - 10:33PM

    If in educational institutions day celebrations started then 365 days per year means 365 days celebrations. I think northern areas are very backward as i see nothing here nor big hospital nor big university nor big industry. Students of this place should study books and stop celebrations and processions to become good officers and doctors and engineersRecommend

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