Exams postponed after political groups clash


KARACHI: Anarchy prevailed at the University of Karachi (KU) on Friday after a lingering dispute between two student organisations over invigilation matters turned violent. Exasperated law enforcers moved from one point to another to arrest the student’s involved, but failed to arrest a single student involved in the clash.
Among the many wounded, three students have been described as “critically injured” as the violence engulfed several departments in its wake. The KU administration postponed semester examinations for the evening shift, while exams scheduled for Saturday have also been pushed back.
The violence between the student groups began at 9.15 am, after one of the organisations armed with stones and sticks attacked their rivals outside the Central Cafeteria, minutes after semester examinations of the morning shift had just commenced.
“Friday’s clash was in fact a reaction to an incident on Thursday, when some students from an organisation manhandled an invigilator for trying to check them during and before the evening shift examination,” KU Security Officer Muhammad Asif told Pakistan Today. “The invigilator, who belonged to a rival student group, then called his associates and a clash ensued, which ended with injuries to four members of both groups,” he said.
On Friday, even though Rangers personnel reached the Central Cafeteria to disperse both sets of students, many headed to the Sociology Department to create a ruckus.
Invigilators were manhandled, while a student from a rival group was dragged out of the examination room and beaten him up brutally.
The racket forced Ghulam Muhammad Burfat, an associate professor at the Sociology Department, to come out of his room in an attempt to control the clamour, but the enraged students also attacked him. Chairman of the Sociology Department, Rana Saba Sultan, said in his report said that unknown armed men attacked an examination room and beat up a student of BS third year named Hussain.
The mob then headed to the administration block, but when their attempts were resisted, they attacked the security staff deployed there. An injured security guard, Siraj Iqbal, told Pakistan Today that he was stationed near the main gate of the administration block, when a mob of enraged students appeared and warned the security staff to allow them to enter the building.
“As I tried to shut the gate to block them from coming in, they attacked me with stones and sticks. I received injuries in my hand due to violent attack,” Iqbal said.
Meanwhile, a driver of KU’s ambulance service, Noor Muhammad, told Pakistan Today that he picked up two unconscious students – one each from the Central Cafeteria and the Sociology Department. “The injured students were then sifted to University Clinic, and later taken to Patel Hospital, a private health facility, for treatment,” he said.
VC orders clampdown: University of Karachi (KU) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof. Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui on Friday ordered a clampdown on students involved in the violence that marred examination activities over the past two days.
At an emergency meeting held between pro-vice chancellors, director of the evening program and the student advisor, Siddiqui ordered Student Advisor Dr Mansoor Ahmed to identify the students responsible for the violence, and submit an inquiry report as soon as possible. The VC said that severe action will be initiated against those found involved in sabotaging the academic environment of the university.
It is pertinent to mention here that special instructions have been issued to Rangers personnel to take immediate action against any student seen disrupting the peaceful environment of the university, or found involved in any criminal activity.