KARACHI - A mysterious protest was reported outside the Karachi University (KU) administration block where some students gathered and started chanting slogans against a blind lecturer who, according to them, harassed a female student for passing her semester exam.
A female student of the Urdu Department has filed an application with Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser wherein she had claimed that a blind lecturer of the said department Muhammad Sajid Khan had harassed her. The vice chancellor called blind lecturer in his office, but after meeting some of the students gathered outside the administration block to protest against the alleged harassment of Sajid Khan.
The female protesters, who were not more than two dozen in number, were led by a male student. The protesters, who belonged to the Urdu Department, were chanting slogans against the alleged harassment of their classmate by the lecturer. They said KU is the province’s largest public sector varsity in which a large number of students come from across the world for education. They said there were almost 80 percent female students in the varsity, so their demands should never be ignored.
They also condemned harassment of the female student by a lecturer for passing her semester exam and demanded of the authorities concerned to take stern action against the blind lecturer in order to save the prestige of the public university.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Muhammad Sajid Khan, the blind lecturer, said he was assigned course No 541 in first semester of current academic year. He said he had passed some of the students by giving them grace marks. “As per KU law, a student could be given maximum three grace marks to pass the exam,” he added.
“The said female student has got 47 marks in course No. 541 exam and requested me for grace marks. I gave her three marks and passed her, but she along with some other students blamed me for sexual harassment. I gave grace marks to some other students as well and it is not true that I treated her as special case. In today’s protest, there was a single male protester namely Muhammad Zameer Siddiqui who planned this conspiracy against me as I issued a statement in a section of press against him that he made varsity teachers’ hostage by showing himself an agent of a spy agency. I refused to pass him in exam and he planned a conspiracy to defame me for his vested interests,” he added.
When the allegedly aggrieved student was asked for her comments, she said she had already recorded her statement before the VC, Registrar, Dean Arts and Chairperson in the form of an application.
When Urdu Department Chairperson Prof Dr Uzma Farman was contacted for her comments, she said she was not familiar with the whole affair as she was out of city on leave and rejoined her office few days before. She asked this scribe to call again but after few minutes she switched her mobile off.
VC Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser said he had formed a committee to investigate this case. He said Faculty of Arts Dean Dr Zaffar Iqbal had been nominated as convener of the committee while the KU student advisor and the chairperson of Urdu department were named as members of committee which would investigate this case and submit their finding as early as possible.