Clash in Punjab University Eight injured in student groups’ clash

LAHORE:January 23: An early morning clash between two student groups at the Punjab University (PU), New Campus, leaving eight students injured, turned the situation tense on Monday with reports of violence and vandalism throughout the day. The clash between activists of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) and Pashtun and Baloch students took place around 4:45am at the Chemical Engineering ground where the IJT had installed a tent for its function to take place in the day. Sources said some PU officials were present for negotiations but failed to convince the students of the two groups and the clash took place in which eight students received injuries. A fire incident also took place at the nearby Institute of Electrical Engineering in the meanwhile. Soon after the clash, PU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Zakria Zakar also reached the spot and took notice of the incident. Later in the day, while dozens of IJT activists were staging a sit-in outside the VC office, some of their fellows severely tortured a Pashtun student at the Department of Sociology which angered the Pashtun and Baloch students who reached the administration block. Meanwhile, the Jamiat activists had left the scene. The violence took place at different points of the university with students pelting stones on each other while a police van was also attacked by the protesting students who damaged the vehicle. Police force used slight tear gas to disperse the students. Students belonging to Jamiat demanded the PU administration to take action against the Pashtun and Baloch students alleging that they were responsible for the clash and the fire incident. However, the other group alleged Jamiat for starting the clash and the fire incident. They alleged that Jamiat had been involved in violent activities at campus on the pretext of organising events. They also warned of academic boycott if the university admin failed to take action against Jamiat activists, including registration of cases against them. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also took notice of the clash between the student groups and ordered a probe into the incident. Later in a press conference, Dr Zakria Zakar said the university was identifying the suspects through the CCTV footage and other means. He also said stern action would be taken against those found involved. Punjab Minister for Higher Education Syed Raza Ali Gillani and top police officials also reached Punjab University later in the day and held marathon meeting with the PU VC. CCPO Lahore Captain (R) Amin Wains, PU Registrar, SP Iqbal Town and representatives of the departments concerned attended the meeting. The government assured of the all-out support to the administration to purge the university of violent and extremist elements. The minister said Punjab University would remain open on Tuesday (today) as per routine and no one would be allowed to stop teaching and learning process at any cost. He said we need to learn from past mistakes and decisions taken must be implemented in letter and spirit. Syed Raza Ali Gillani said “We are not looking at anyone as a regional groups or religious entity. Criminals are called criminals in terms of law and they will be dealt with accordingly,” he added. Action plan had been prepared and it had been decided to take action against harmful elements who have caused damage to the university belongings and also mistreated students, he added. No unregistered person will be allowed to stay in university hostels and action will be taken against all those staying illegally. In response to a question, the minister said the incident's CCTV footage was available which was being shared with the police. He said the university administration and police would launch separate FIRs against the unlawful elements involved in the incident. Gillani said no one would be forgiven if found guilty. Answering a question, he said the decisions taken in the past have not been implemented and we are facing such situations because of administrations’ leverage in the past. He said no one would be allowed to create institution within the institution and action on Monday’s decisions will be implemented at any cost. Talking to The News Prof Dr Zakria Zakar said the university would rusticate the PU students involved in the incident. He said a new and improved entry system to the hostels would be introduced and no outsider would be allowed to stay at the hostels.The news.

Add new comment