ISLAMABAD: The Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) remained closed for a fourth consecutive day on Friday with no resolution in sight to an ongoing tiff between the varsity’s administration and a group of students.
A group of the university’s students, who were penalised for violence on campus, are demanding that their rustication orders should be withdrawn forthwith. Failure to do so, the protesting students have warned, would see them keep the main road of the university and the transportation system shut.
The university administration had expelled eight students and rusticated 18 others after they resorted to violent clashes in university’s hostels on May 20. The violent clashes, including the use of firearms, had taken place between the Baloch and Sindhi groups which had led to university’s closure for days. Consequently, 26 trouble-making students were identified by university officials and were booked by the police for rioting.
The student groups, however, are now demanding that all penalised students be restored immediately.
The situation has forced the Islamabad district administration and local police to intervene. Representatives from both have held meetings with the protesting students and the university administration, but no solution to the impasse has been found so far.
Though the protesting students have also demanded a reduction in fees and improvement of facilities in their list of demands, officials believe it is only a cover-up and their main motive is to get themselves restored.
“University’s syndicate had expelled eight students and rusticated 18 for their involvement in violent clashes. These students now want restoration [of their academic status],” said QAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf.
Asked whether force could be used to end the current protest and restore academic activities at the varsity, he said that the matter was not for him to decide. The VC said he wanted to solve the issue amicably and hoped the varsity will reopen on Monday.
However, the faculty members say they will resist any decision which sees the status of the rusticated students restored.
“The faculty will go on a strike if the administration restores these students. Faculty wants no compromise on discipline,” an assistant professor told The Express Tribune.
He said the faculty supported the students on the issue of fee hike, need for more hostels and buses, but he said these issues were being exploited by the agitators to get themselves restored.
He added some of the protesting students had also caused a nuisance for the varsity administration in the past as well.
They demanded that academic activities at the university should be restored and the protesters should be removed by the administration.
Meanwhile, the university’s faculty and the VC have also locked horns. The faculty says the VC has failed to deliver and has sought his removal. The VC, on the other hand, termed the move a political stunt by some faculty members ahead of the upcoming elections of the academic staff association.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2017.
Source: Tribune News | Rusticated students keep QAU shut for fourth day