LAHORE: Several people were injured, including five security guards, when student groups clashed at Punjab University on Friday.
Registrar Dr Muhammad Khalid Khan told the media that around 12:45pm, a quarrel erupted among the activists of Pashtun Educational Development Movement (PEDM) and Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) after some discussion near the Sociology Department in which activists from both sides received injuries.
He added that after receiving information, the university security staff reached the spot instantly and also sent an alert to the police because it was estimated that there might be another quarrel among the students soon.
He said that in the meanwhile, the administration received information that PEDM and Punjabi Council activists were beating some students near Admin Block’s mosque whereas university security staff reached the spot instantly and rescued the students to avoid any further clash among student organisations.
He further said that later the Punjabi Council and PEDM activists attacked the university guards and injured six security guards and the guards made all-out efforts to avoid any serious clash among student organisations and they got success.
The registrar said that the university administration would take strict action against the students involved in the incident while a request for registration of FIR [First Information Report] had been sent to the police in which 20 unknown and four persons i.e. Ansar Abbas, Shazeb Arif Warraich, Usama Butt and Imran had been nominated.
During the press conference, the university administration also said that a week ago, the university was ranked in the top 350 universities of countries with emerging economies and now this incident happened. They suspected that some elements were involved in disrupting the university’s atmosphere to harm its ranking.
Meanwhile, PU Spokesperson Khurram Shahzad told this scribe that according to the CCTV footage of the incident, the fight was initiated by members of the PEDM. He added that the administration has suspended some students and has also lodged a FIR against them.
On the other hand, in a Facebook post, academic and human rights activist Ammar Ali Jan said that IJT attacked the students for celebrating Culture Day. “Students from all ethnic backgrounds protested against this brutality and were assured by the administration of strict action against perpetrators. Now we are hearing reports that instead of holding the aggressors accountable police has arrested a number of Pashtun and Baloch students from Punjab University’s hostels,” he said.
“The university administration continues to act like the spokesperson for Jamiat rather than working in the interests of all students. By targeting only Pashtun and Baloch students they also seek to further divide students and weaken their resolve,” he added.