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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rumpus on Quaid-i-Azam University

Rumpus on campus: QAU closed for four days
Islamabad, April 28: Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) authorities closed the university for four days, and ordered some 800 final-year students to vacate hostels, after violence by some disgruntled students rocked the campus on Friday.
University sources said the action would not hurt the studies much because of the weekend and May Day holiday and on Wednesday the university would be rehearsing for the convocation ceremony set for May 3.
A group of hostel residents allegedly took advantage of the presence of media on the campus, to cover an International Conference on Social Sciences, to air grievances they had been nursing for a year and went violent.
Witnesses said the disgruntled group gathered at the entrance of the university on Friday morning, holding placards bearing their grievances and demands, and did nothing more than disrupt the traffic. But as their number increased, the protesters reportedly marched on the auditorium of the Earth Sciences Department where the conference was underway.
There they went violent, breaking down glass and other things, making some participants to leave the conference. There were no foreign delegates though at the conference. Police was called in and dispersed the rowdy students.
Inspector Shahid Mehmood of Secretariat Police Station who answered the call said that no FIR was registered as the university filed no complaint.
A disgruntled student asked about the group's grievances said it wanted the university management to ensure "quality services" to hostel inmates, initiate legal proceedings against a university bus driver who had killed a student in an accident, waive off the fine imposed on 25 members of the group after a clash with another group last year, and allow the revival of Quaideen Students Federation (QSF)."We will go for tougher action if the university management did not listen to us," warned the student.
A university teacher confided on condition of anonymity that the students which clashed last year belonged to Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan. QAU had lodged an FIR with the police, naming six students, after the June 2011 incident which had closed the university for a few days.
QAU Vice-Chancellor Prof Masoom Yasinzai, recalling the incident, said: "Some students had fought at the start of their semester last year.
Now, at the closing of the academic year, they are trying to put pressure (for rescinding the disciplinary taken against them). Yesterday a group of students came to me seeking permission to reorganise the QSF but I told them that I am not authorised to allow that."
Students' unions in educational institutions were banned by the military regime of Gen Ziaul Haq in late 1970s and remain so.
Prof Yasinzai looked reluctant to take "the painful action of expelling" the students behind the latest incident but said the disciplinary committee of the university would certainly probe Friday's rumpus and find ways to punish the guilty.
Dozens of hostel students, fearing possible eviction, staged a counter protest against the troublemakers.
"They were a small group out to agitate issues to their own benefit. The vast majority of us are just interested in pursuing their studies in peace," Moazzam Durrani, a student of Anthropology Department said speaking for "the 8,000 students of the university".


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