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February 29, 2020

10 students, guards injuredin PU clashes

Lahore

February 29, 2020

LAHORE:Violent clashes between two student groups and the security staff at Punjab University (PU) New Campus left around 10 students and a dozen security guards injured on Friday.

A subsequent roadblock by one of the groups of students led to a massive traffic mess on Canal Road and adjoining areas causing extreme troubles to the commuters. The first clash took place between activists of two groups at around 12:45pm in which students from the two sides got injured.

This was followed by another clash, after Juma prayers, near the PU main cafeteria about which there are conflicting reports. Some members of a student group claimed that they were going to stage a protest outside the administration block when the PU security guards allegedly resorted to baton charge to disperse them. However, the university administration said that the security guards got injured while trying to rescue some students who were being thrashed allegedly by another group of students near the cafeteria.

The student group claimed that they were planning for their upcoming event scheduled for Saturday (today) outside the university campus at Burki Road, when the first scuffle took place between them and the other group activists who allegedly stopped them from their preparations.

A member of a student group Rehan Khan talking to The News accused the PU administration of supporting another group and further alleged that his companions were thrashed by security guards when they were going to stage a peaceful demo outside the admin block.

Later, a large number of students of different groups held a joint rally within the university chanting slogans against one group. They went outside the university and blocked the Canal Road on Campus Bridge causing severe traffic mess on the Canal and adjoining areas for around an hour.

In the evening, PU Registrar Dr Khalid Khan along with PU chief security officer Lt-Col (r) Muhammad Ubaid Masood and others addressed a press conference and announced taking legal and disciplinary action against all those involved in clashes.

Dr Khalid Khan said some outside elements were disturbing peaceful atmosphere at Punjab University. Without naming anyone, he said students and some faculty members from FC College University were allegedly aggravating the situation by joining student groups in their protests and events.

PU Registrar further said that recently the university was ranked among the top 301 to 350 universities of the emerging economies and just after a week, a clash erupted among student groups. He said that whenever Punjab University’s ranking improved, some elements tried to portray a specific image about the university. He said after receiving information of the first clash, the university security staff reached the spot instantly and sent an alert to the police because it was feared that there might be another quarrel among the students soon.

Dr Khalid Khan said that meanwhile, the university received information that student group activists were beating some students near Admin Block’s mosque. He said the university security staff reached the spot instantly and rescued the students to avoid any clash. However, he said, the student group activists attacked the university guards and injured six of them. He said the university security guards made the all-out effort to avoid any serious clash among student groups and they got success.

PU Registrar further said the university administration would take strict action against the students involved in the incident while request for registration of FIR had been sent to the police in which 20 unknown and four persons i.e. Ansar Abbas, Shahzeb Arif Warraich, Usama Butt and Imran had been nominated. The administration also condemned attack on security guards and chief security officer by the students.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that PU administration was trying to identify those initiating the Friday clashes with the help of CCTV footages and would share the same with police for legal action.

Talking to The News, Dr Khalid Khan said the university did not favour any group and would take stern action against all those involved without any discrimination. He said PU guards trying to rescue some students also received injuries and were shifted to hospital for treatment and to fulfill medico-legal formalities for registration of case against the hooligans. No one from a student group was available for comments.