FUUAST clash leads to panic at Liaquat Hospital


The previous night’s gun battle in Orangi Town moved to the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) where student organisations of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP) clashed with each other on Tuesday.
At least 11 people have been killed in exchange of gunfire between Pashtuns and Urdu-speakers in Orangi Town since Monday.
The town has become a no-go area for outsiders, whereas scattered shops and markets in the troubled town have been closed down due to tension between the two groups on ethnic basis.
The gun battle between the two groups in Orangi Town moved to FUUAST’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal campus on Tuesday.
The activists of the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation (APMSO) and the Pakhtun Students Federation (PkSF) – the student organisations of the MQM and the ANP respectively – resorted to straight fire on each other, injuring a policeman, a PkSF activist and two passers-by.
Following the incident, FUUAST Registrar Dr Qamarul Haq announced that the semester examinations at the university’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal campus to be held on June 15 and 16 have been postponed due to the law and order situation.
A heavy contingent of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town police arrived at the university to handle the situation and an armed personnel carrier was also deployed outside FUUAST, whereas vehicular traffic on the main University Road remained suspended for half an hour, and students and staff members of the university were confined to their classrooms for at least three hours while the police took control of the varsity’s security.
The station house officer of the Aziz Bhatti police station claimed that activists of the APMSO attacked PkSF workers inside FUUAST’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal campus.
He said that the brawl between the student groups turned into a gun battle that resulted in wounding a PkSF activist, a policeman of the Aziz Bhatti police station and two passers-by.
The injured men were identified as PkSF’s Fida Kakar, Aziz Bhatti Assistant Sub-Inspector Ahmed Ali, and passers-by Waleed Jan Muhammad and Ramiz Qadir Baloch, he added.
Rumours regarding Kakar being killed increased tension at various educational institutions, especially between the two student organisations.
As the wounded PkSF activist was taken to the Liaquat National Hospital, a large number of PkSF workers rushed to the hospital where heavy aerial and straight firing was reported inside the healthcare facility.
Enraged workers also broke the windows and doors of several wards at the hospital where the staff and patients were held hostage for three hours, and they were able to breathe a sigh of relief only after the police arrived at the healthcare facility and brought the situation under control.
Activists also blocked the Salman Shah Road for over an hour and pelted passing vehicles with stones.
Hospital Administration Director Brig (retd) Naseem Ahmed told Pakistan Today that some 200 unidentified armed men stormed into the hospital at around 3:00 pm.
He claimed that despite repeated complaints, the police did not reach the hospital to provide security to the hospital staff members and patients.
PkSF Sindh President Raza Khan Jadoon alleged that APMSO activists attacked and injured Kakar. He said that PkSF activists had to retaliate to save their wounded colleague.
Jadoon denied involvement of PkSF activists in damaging hospital property and attacking the healthcare facility’s staff members. He said that according to doctors, Kakar was operated on and is now out of danger.