PESHAWAR: The Agriculture University has suspended its assistant administrative officer and formed a four-member committee to probe the incident in which the official tortured and threatened a student with a weapon.
The committee headed by Said Wahab, dean faculty of Nutrition Sciences, has been tasked with probing the matter and submitting a report to the acting vice-chancellor of the university as soon as possible.
The action was taken after a video clip of the incident went viral on social media. The clip clearly shows the university official(s) attacking the students, dragging him to the rostrum, tearing his clothes, kicking him, pointing gun at his head and shouting at him.
On the other hand, the situation report submitted by the director admissions of the university about the incident claimed that the assistant administration officer was trying to maintain discipline at the main auditorium hall where the students had gathered for fee submission. The affected student, Rahmatullah had raised objection about the violation of queue and the officials were trying to calm him down.
“However, the student could not be convinced and he became aggressive and attacked the officials,” the director admission in his written report said.
Anyone who watched the video clip ridiculed the statement of the director admissions as the “armed” university official can be seen attacking the student.
According to details gathered from eye-witnesses, students and faculty members of the university, the students were depositing semester fee at the main auditorium hall of the university when the incident took place.
An eye-witness said one of the students standing in the long queue went out for drinking water and stood at the position he had left after his return.
Rahmatullah, an eight semester student of the BBA (Honours), complained against it as according to him it was violation of the queue.
The university’s Assistant Administrative Officer, Abid Anwar, who was supervising the process in the presence of some bank officials, instead of listening to the complaint of the student started attacking him. He was assisted by some other employees of the university.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan also took notice of the incident and sought report from the university administration. Acting Vice-Chancellor Noor Piyao Khan assured the chief minister that he had taken notice of the incident.
He said the official concerned has been suspended and a committee formed to look into the matter.
Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, the KP Assembly Speaker officiating as the Acting Governor after the resignation of Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, also took notice of the incident and asked the university administration to submit a report to him at the earliest.
According to the director admissions of the university, the matter had already been settled and it had not been reported to police or the university administration.
The Agriculture University has been functioning under acting administration for the last 10 months as the provincial government has been unable to appoint a full-time vice-chancellor.
The office of the vice-chancellor fell vacant in November 2017 after the retirement of former vice-chancellor Zahoor Ahmad Swati. The position was advertised in May 2017, but the process hasn’t been completed despite the passage of nearly one and a half year.
The university has undergone a long protest by the teaching community and other employees of the university against the current acting administration. They feared an untoward happening could take place in the institution as they considered the current administration incapable and incompetent. They had demanded early appointment of full-time vice-chancellor.
The Higher Education Department in KP has scrutinised over 100 candidates who had applied for the position and submitted a list of eligible candidate to the academic and search committee for appointment of the vice-chancellor.