KARACHI: The road in front of the Karachi University Faculty of Arts and the Administration Block resembled a battlefield for a second consecutive day on Friday.
Student organisations clashed with each other and other ‘neutral’ students were forced out of classrooms during their exams. A stampede ensued when students ran out of their classrooms after members of the organisations started pelting them with stones.
A clash between the Peoples Student Federation (PSF) and the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) took place Thursday evening. As a truce had not been reached, the parties clashed again on Friday — beating up students across departments.
A teacher of the sociology department, Ghulam Mujtaba, was hurt during the clash. After his minor injury, the Karachi University Teachers Society called an emergency meeting of their general body and decided to boycott the semester examinations until the protection of the faculty is ensured.
The exams scheduled to be held in the evening were postponed and KU registrar Prof Dr Kaleem Raza Khan announced that all papers scheduled for Saturday have been postponed. New dates of the postponed exams would be announced later, according to a statement issued by the registrar.
KU’s pro vice-chancellor Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi told Daily Express that the administration will take a major step soon to curb these incidents.
PS Mubina Town protest
Students took the two boys injured in Friday’s clash, Aftab and Muhammad Hussain, to the Mubina Town police station to register cases against different student political organisations. However, when the police refused, the enraged students resorted to vandalism and damaged police property.
Unidentified men also fired gunshots in the air. A heavy contingent of police and Rangers reached the scene and managed to control the situation.
The students, then, staged a sit-in at Abul Hassan Ispahani Road blocking all traffic and causing nearby shops to shut down. Later, the Mubina Town police filed a case on behalf of Syed Muhammad Hussain against a student organisation. However, duty officer ASI Abbas said no one was particularly nominated in the FIR.
VC calls meeting
The university’s vice-chancellor Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui summoned an emergency meeting, cutting his vacation short, to address the lawlessness on campus. He asked the students’ adviser Dr Mansoor Ahmed to urgently identify the responsible students and submit an inquiry report.
Special instructions have been issued to the Rangers, according to which, they are allowed to take immediate action against any of the students disrupting the academic environment of the university or found to be involved in any criminal activity.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan has summoned the higher authorities of Karachi University at a meeting at Governor House today (on Saturday) regarding the serious security situation on campus. The security situation, the student organizations and administrative issues will be discussed.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2010.
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