Oh baby, baby, it’s a wild KU


All hell broke loose at the University of Karachi (KU) on Friday when a large number of students – members of an umbrella student organisation – turned unruly inside the campus and forced the cancellation of the annual degree examinations.
Activists of the Students Action Committee (SAC) – a newly-formed alliance of four student unions, the People’s Students Federation (PSF), the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), the Gilgit-Baltistan Students Federation (GBSF) and the Punjabi Students Association (PSA) – attacked the candidates appearing in the morning shift examinations.
According to sources, the alliance has been formed to press the university management into accepting its demands.
The BA (Part-I) candidates had just started solving the Economics Analysis and Policy paper when violence broke out in the Mathematics, Geography, Geology and Library and Information Sciences departments.
The SAC activists allegedly tore up the admit cards, question papers and answer scripts of most of the candidates. The mob also smashed the windows and furniture at the Department of Physiology.
Some candidates also accused the miscreants for thrashing the students at those departments as well as snatching their valuables.
Several students of BA Part-II were also appearing in the paper for a supplementary examination. However, the candidates had to quit the examination as the SAC activists barged into exam halls, creating a serious security lapse inside the campus.
Later, when the candidates affected by the ruckus staged a demonstration outside the KU Administration Block, PSF activists used force to disperse the students, who then gathered outside the Silver Jubilee gate, creating a traffic mess on the University Road.
Witnesses said Rangers personnel and the KU security staff stood as silent spectators as student activists created mayhem inside the campus, disturbing the examinations at four examination centres.
Later, the SAC activists also gathered outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) and chanted slogans against the KU management and the varsity’s admissions director.
KU Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui told Pakistan Today that the administration had taken a solid stance against illegal admissions and those who were not accommodated disturbed the peaceful atmosphere at the campus.
Assuring that the second-shift paper scheduled would be conducted in a peaceful environment, the KU VC claimed that the security at campus would not allow the miscreants to do such things again.
The papers scheduled in the evening shift were conducted peacefully.
Talking about the students who could not complete their paper, Siddiqui said the university administration has given the option to these students to re-appear along with the BA (External) candidates’ paper scheduled for February 1. Otherwise, the KU would award average marks to the students affected, according to their performance in other papers.
He said the decision was taken in the interest of the students.
Talking with Pakistan Today, KU Pro-VC (PVC) Prof Dr Nasiruddin Khan said that out of the 26 exam centres for male candidates inside the campus, the exam was disrupted in four due to the intervention of political activists. “I have asked KU Student Adviser Prof Dr Nasir Ansar to identify the students behind the unrest and report to me,” he said. “I have also requested the [KU] VC to take stern action against the people who are identified in the adviser’s report to avoid such incidents in the future.”
A few days ago, KU Admissions Director Prof Dr Khalid Iraqi had vowed not to grant a single out-of-turn admission to any activist of student or political organisations. “I will resign if anyone claims and later proves that I had granted one admission without merit to anyone,” he had asserted.
On January 11, the SAC had launched a campaign against the recently-appointed KU Admissions director, threatening the varsity management of staging protests outside the Administration Block until the student organisation’s demands are met. However, when the administration did not budge from its position, the SAC activists in their show of power attacked the students of various colleges, who had come to the KU for appearing in their annual examinations.
It appears that for the first time in decades, the KU Admissions director has refused to bow down to the demands of student unions.
As the admission process was completed transparently and no activists of student organisations granted out-of-turn admissions, some of the unions have started campaigning against the director to force the KU administration into removing him.
Meanwhile, the KU decided not to allow entry of any irrelevant persons and vehicles inside the campus on Saturday (today) and the newly-admitted students would only be allowed to enter the varsity from the Silver Jubilee gate and the IBA gate (Maskan) to attend their orientation.
The Academic Session 2012 at the KU would commence from January 16 (Monday).


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