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June 1, 2021

Scores of teachers injured as police break varsities employees protest

PESHAWAR: Scores of university teachers sustained injuries and 24 were arrested on Monday when police resorted to baton charge and used tear gas shells against the faculty members of different universities of the province, who had gathered outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to press for acceptance of their demands.

The teachers from the public sector universities and non-teaching employees announced a boycott of academci activities in all the public sector universities of the province. None of the universities would remain open for any academic or non-academic activities throughout the province until a formal apology is tendered to the protesting employees and all their demands are unconditionally accepted, declared Dr Fazle Nasir, central vice-president of the Federation of All Pakistan Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) and president Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA), while talking to The News.

"Only gardeners and other necessary staffer members responsible for supplying water to plants and humans would be allowed to perform duties. No other function would be performed anywhere in any of the universities of the province," he said.

A huge police contingent equipped with tear gas guns, batons and riot shields, used force against the protesting professors and other staff members outside the KP Assembly. Senior professors were seen having their clothes torn up. Some had sustained injuries and were being shifted to the hospital. "At least 16 of the university professors and other employees got injured and were shifted to the hospitals. Twenty-two, including provincial president of FAPUASA Dr Shah Alam and general secretary Dr Sadiq Ali were arrested and First Information Reports were registered against them," Fazle Nasir said.

It may be mentioned here that the teachers of different universities were unhappy with the financial reforms in the universities and the government's inability to overcome the financial crunch in the majority of the universities.