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Protesting ICU students Baton-Charged, Arrested

PESHAWAR: The University Campus Police baton-charged the protesting students of Islamia College University (ICU) here Wednesday for the second consecutive day, causing injuries to several of them while scores of students were arrested.

The students were protesting against the university administration for not allowing them to appear in the annual examination due to attendance shortage.The admission forms for annual examination were not accepted from the intermediate students having less than 75 per cent attendance. The students were also fined.

The intermediate students staged protest on the premises of the university on Tuesday. The university administration had called police to deal with the situation, which resorted to indiscriminate baton-charge and firing of teargas shells to disperse the students.

When former president of the Teaching Staff Association, Izhar Ahmad, tried to save the students, he was also allegedly tortured and abused by police, which further aggravated the situation.

On Wednesday, the students came out more vigorously to face the brunt of police. A hide and seek between police and the students continued right from the morning till evening. At times the students came on the main Jamrud Road and blocked it for all kinds of traffic.

Despite using full might to disperse the students, police failed to control the situation. The students continued to gather in small number at different places in the university almost the whole day to chant slogans against the university administration and pelt the university building as well as police with stones. Equipped with riot-shields, batons and teargas shooters, police followed the students to beat them up and try to arrest them.

Scores of the students sustained injuries and others were arrested. The teachers and other staff of the university, concerned over the situation, convened the executive body meetings of their respective associations later in the evening to discuss the situation.

The meetings condemned the police and university administration’s attitude and the maltreatment of the students, a teacher and a laboratory attendant. The teachers condemned the police for not registering case against Station House Officer Waqar, who had allegedly manhandled and abused Izhar Ahmad, a teacher of the Botany Department of the university.

The meeting declared that the general body meeting of the teaching staff association, class-III and class-IV association would be held in the Khyber Union Hall of the university today (Thursday), followed by a protest against the alleged police excesses.

Meanwhile, the Islamia College University administration closed the intermediate section of the university for an indefinite period. The graduate and postgraduate sections would, however, remain open.

Talking to media Vice-Chancellor of the ICU Ajmal Khan said the university had an established criterion for admission to examination. Those who do not fulfil the criteria could not be allowed to appear in the examination, he said, adding that they would not succumb to any pressure and would not compromise on rules.

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