Clean-up’ operation continues at Punjab University

LAHORE:26 January:The Punjab University administration has decided to take measures to end presence of student groups at the hostel and started a ‘clean-up’ operation by removing the office of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT). The university administration moved against the offices of the IJT after clashes erupted at the campus on Monday resulting in more than a dozen injuries as well as subsequent arrests of IJT members and Pashtun and Baloch students. More than 200 students have been arrested since Monday, out of which 196 were presented before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Tuesday. The court handed over 19 students to the police on a seven-day physical remand, while 177 others were sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand. The ‘clean-up’ operation was conducted at Hostel Number 1 and Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre, thought to be the epicentre of the IJT. The student organisation had its offices at both locations and served as its base of operations in the university. The administration removed banners and logos of the student organisation, as well as removing their literature from the campus. A statement by the university stated, “On the directions of Dr Zakir, the hostel administration and PU security officials removed offices of a student organisation set up at Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre Hostel and Hostel No 1. The administration also removed posters and insignias of student organisations from all hostels and underpasses. Meanwhile, PU hostel administration has cancelled allotment of 31 students involved in incidents of violence. The luggage of the students has been shifted to storeroom.” Meanwhile, the university administration initiated action against 37 students it had identified earlier and had started disciplinary action against them, which could result in their expulsion from Punjab University. In this regard, a high-level meeting was held at Punjab University. Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zakria Zakir instructed the administration to take measures to ensure fair and timely trial of students who were found involved in the incident of recent unrest in the campus. He instructed the officials to serve show-cause notices to the students in custody through police officials. Dr Zakir also ordered PU Disciplinary Committee to accord opportunity of personal hearing at jail and police lock ups, so that no issue should hinder process of doing justice in this matter.Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2018.Express turbuni.

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