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April 2, 2008

Withdrawal of Rangers from KU, other varsities demanded


Web Desk
April 2, 2008


Strongly reacting to the beating of Dr Riyaz Ahmed, Assistant Professor at the Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Karachi (KU), by the Rangers, Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) has demanded their (Rangers) complete withdrawal from the KU and all educational institutions in the city. The KUTS has also decided to observe a ‘Black Day’ all over Pakistan in collaboration with the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) on Friday

The General Body Meeting of KUTS was held in a very charged atmosphere, attended by a large number of teachers at the Arts auditorium on Tuesday who vented their anger against the ‘barbaric’ act of the Rangers personnel and castigated Prof Pirzada Qasim and his administration for failing to take timely action to stop the use of excessive force against the teacher.

The KUTS meeting also asked the administration to implement a ‘consistent security policy’ as, sometimes, the security is lax at the entry points of the university and, at other times, it is so stringent and harsh that the untrained and coarse-mannered guards misbehave with the teachers, women and the students. They also decided to take legal action against the Rangers’ personnel and begin with the filing of an FIR with the police. They asked the KU administration to explain what prevented the KU Security personnel (posted at the Silver Jubilee Gate) from protecting Dr Riyaz.

Dr Riyaz Ahmed, who had his right hand in a sling and marks of beatings on his back and other parts of the body, described the incident in a choked voice. According to him, Anwarul Haque, the Havildar of the Rangers, had committed some indecent act at the Department of Applied Chemistry and he (Dr Riyaz) had admonished him (Anwarul Haque) for it. “The Havildar recognised me at the gate, refused to allow me to go outside the university and used abusive language against me. He attacked me with sticks

along with four others”, he narrated the story. Muhammad Zubair, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Islamic History, brought the sticks used in the act to the auditorium, some broken to pieces, and showed them to the horrified teachers

Some teachers, including Dr Abid Hasnain, Secretary KUTS, had the view that the news of the revival of the student unions in educational institutions had not gone down well with some segments in the university and they wanted to create a law and order situation to use it as an excuse to put the idea into cold storage.

Dr Shakeel Farooqui, Vice President, KUTS, reminded the teachers that they needed a united stand against those who were trying to degrade them and they (the teachers) have to have a disposition that befits a teacher. Dr Fayyaz Vaid from the Faculty of Pharmacy urged the teachers to take concrete measures to stop such acts against the teachers in the future.

Most of the teachers, who spoke on the occasion, were unanimous in their view that the presence of the Rangers had brought more evil to the university than good. “The guards have become the masters of the university. They grab provisions from the University Utility Store, occupied the boys’ hostels, including the International Hostel that has been turned into their headquarters”. A lady professor accused the Rangers of being responsible for the disappearance of some girl students from the campus and accused the KU administration for looking the other way.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party Pakistan, International Socialist (Pakistan) and various student organisations demonstrated in front of the Karachi Press Club (KPC) against the Rangers who were roaming the KU as if they were the masters of the institution. Their haughtiness, they said, was disgusting. They asked the KU administration to order the Rangers’ complete withdrawal from the KU and punish the ‘barbarians’ who were not fit to be in the university in the first place.

In another development, an emergency meeting of the Rangers high-ranking officials with the Vice-Chancellor (VC) was held in the former’s office and the VC expressed his reservations about the incident and asked the Rangers to not perpetrate such incidents in the future. The VC also appointed a three-member investigation team, headed by Dr Majeedullah Quadri, the Campus Security Adviser, to pinpoint the exact circumstances that led to the ugly incident. The other two members of the team are Dr Zafar Iqbal, Chairman, Urdu Department, and Dr Khalid Iraqi, a Professor at the Department of Public Administration. Meanwhile, the KUTS had boycotted classes on Tuesday.

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