Protest seeks restoration of suspended Baloch students

LAHORE: Dozens of Punjab University students held a protest sit in front of the Vice Chancellor’s Office on Thursday, seeking restoration of suspended Baloch and Pashtun students and removal of cases registered against them.

The protesting students gathered in front of the VC House in the evening and announced to continue their sit-in until the management announced restoration of their suspended colleagues.

PU had suspended several Baloch students as well as activists of right wing Islami Jamiat i Taliba (IJT) after a violent clash on campus. The clash left several Baloch students injured on campus as well as at the hostels. After the clash, several terrorism cases were also filed against students and the PU administration suspended 12 IJT activists and four students affiliated with the Baloch council.

Talking to Daily Times, a protesting student who identified as Asfand said that the Baloch council students were suspended even though they were innocent and were in fact beaten up by IJT activists. He said that the students had come from far-off areas to pursue education but were being made to suffer because of the activities of an extremist religious outfit.

When contacted, the PU spokesperson said that the VC has ordered to constitute a committee to look into the matter. The members of committee will be announced on Friday (today). He dismissed Baloch or Pashtuns students were targeted by the administration, saying just four of the 600 Baloch students enrolled in the university were suspended after a comprehensive inquiry.

Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.