* Activists retaliate after guards prevent them from distributing
pamphlets outside campus mosque
following Friday prayers
* PU admin had banned distribution of pamphlets on campus
* Varsity spokesperson says admin seeking FIR against those involved in the violence
LAHORE: Tension gripped the Punjab University campus again as Islami Jamiat Taliba (IJT) activists allegedly thrashed PU Assistant Security Officer Shoukat Ali when he tried to prevent them from distributing pamphlets after Friday prayers.
In a joint meeting of the deans and chairpersons of different PU departments, held on April 20, it was unanimously decided that the distribution of handbills or pamphlets amongst students and teachers would be strictly prohibited. This decision was taken because certain student organisations had been distributing handbills containing highly objectionable remarks and allegations against the faculty members, which in certain cases also aimed at fanning sectarian sentiments. In line with this policy, security guards were deputed outside the campus mosque last week to prevent any such activity. On Friday, as IJT members attempted to give out pamphlets after Friday prayers, security guards intervened. But upon being stopped, the IJT men retaliated and assaulted Shoukat Ali.
An emergency meeting was summoned after the incident, under the chairmanship of Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran, which was also attended by Dr Jamil Anwar, Registrar Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan, Students Advisor Iftikhar Ahmad, Chief Security Officer Khalid Hassan and Controller Examinations Dr Zahid Karim among other officials.
Following the meeting, PU Director Public Relations Khawaja Tahir told Daily Times the university is planning to register an FIR against the IJT activists who were involved in this incident, which was yet another in a series of IJT attempts at disturbing the peaceful atmosphere on campus.
PU IJT Information Secretary Haris Saeed, however, denied that activists were distributing any political or organisational pamphlets when the security guards accosted them. He said the pamphlets were in favour of Dr Aafia and they already made an announcement in this regard. He said that police also arrested two IJT activists following the incident.