News Analysis |
The University of Punjab, popularly known as PU; is once again in news and not for good reasons. Few members of notorious Islami Jamiat Taleba (IJT) reportedly attacked a man who was sitting with a female student outside the history department. The man, identified as Awais Rind, had gone to meet his wife when he was trashed by the IJT students.
In a series of videos, going viral on social media; few members of IJT can be seen beating a man, in the presence of a large crowd. A female student was trying to explain to them that he is her husband.
“Hey stop, why are you doing this, he is my husband,” the female student can be seen screaming.
“What has he done? Just tell me, he is my husband,” she was further heard saying. “Who were they? Just tell me, is this a university?” she asked.
After the incident was reported on mainstream media, Governor Punjab Ch. Sarwar took notice and directed Vice Chancellor of PU Professor Niaz Ahmad to present a report on this incident.
University registrar, Khalid Khan suspended five students associated with IJT; for their alleged role.
Social Media Reacts
Users on social media strongly reacted to the incident and condemned the IJT for disrupting peace at the campus. #PU_occupied_by_Goons became top twitter trend in Pakistan after the incident was reported by media.
“Members of IJT, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), can be seen in a video footage surrounding the victim, who has been identified as Awais Rind, the enrolled varsity student’s husband. #PU_occupied_by_Goons” a social media user said.
She further said that this is not the first incident where IJT members tried to maintain moral policing. “This is not the first time the varsity has seen an incident like this as on-campus ‘moral policing’ by IJT workers is commonplace at Punjab University. #PU_occupied_by_Goons”
Another user asked if it was a crime to sit with your wife at campus? “Is it a crime to have some gossip with ur own wife in the University? #PU_occupied_by_goons” she asked.
— Ayesha Ash🇵🇰 #BehindYouSkipper (@AyeshaArooj172) October 25, 2018
Violence at Campuses
GVS approached two university professors for a comment on this development. One of the professors who spoke on the condition of anonymity; told GVS that incidents like the present one do not take place in a vacuum. “Administration uses student organizations for its own interest,” the professor said. Afterwards these organizations make violence weapon of their choice to compel their fellows or the administration itself to fulfil their demands, he added.
It is important to mention here that a year and half ago Mashal Khan, a media studies student at Bacha Khan University; was lynched by a mob of charged students, over the false charges of blasphemy. Later on, it was learnt that the student was critical of the administration’s policies and was therefore falsely accused of anti-religious ideas.
Harassment of students whether by their fellows or the administration is not acceptable for the students and their families.
Another professor clearly talked about the activities of the IJT and a biased approach of the sitting VC towards the group. “IJT goons do not let male and female students interact with one another within the premises of the campuses. I seldom feel I am in the 21st century whenever I am at PU,” he said.
The professor maintained that the IJT is a self-styled moral policing force which is backed by the Jamat-i-Islami. As a matter of fact, IJT’s control has significantly decreased now. Almost a decade ago it was IJT which used to run most of the affairs at PU. In 2007 PTI Chairman Imran Khan was invited to PU by a student body but IJT opposed this invitation.
When Mr. Khan arrived at PU; he was not only stopped from entering campus premises, but was detained, tortured and humiliated by the members of IJT. Mr. Khan was reportedly taken to a room in the Centre for High Energy Physics and detained there for about 45 minutes.
A social media user reminded the world of 2007 sad day while posting the pictures of Khan.
— Sajeel Syed (@sajeelshamsi) October 25, 2018
Students and teachers at PU want PTI government to probe this matter conclusively and make the public universities a place of learning and innovation. Harassment of students whether by their fellows or the administration is not acceptable for the students and their families.