PESHAWAR: At least 28 students of Peshawar University were injured when police baton-charged them on Thursday during their protest against fee hike.
A large number of students converged outside Peshawar University against hike in fees this morning, but soon a rioting atmosphere ensued. The administration called the police to disperse protesting students and a scuffle broke out between the two sides after arrival of the law enforcers.
The protesting students also reportedly hurled stones at policemen, thus injuring two cops who were later shifted to hospital. A number of students were detained following the protest.
The university administration says that the increase in fees has been made after two years, which shouldn’t cause a problem.
However, spokesperson of the Peshawar University, Ali Imran, in his explanation over the matter, has a different story to tell. “An influential group of students had forcefully occupied the boys hostel of the varsity and they were not vacating it, he said.
He said the students were stopped from staging a protest because Section-144 is imposed in the educational institution and any protest is banned under the law at this moment.
He insisted that the university was firm on its principles and wont bow down to any pressure. “Pressure groups of political parties exist in big universities,” he said, adding that parties disrupt peaceful academic environment of varsities using their pressure groups.
Such protests are staged to get their [unjustified] demands accepted, said the spokesperson.
He was of the view that students were being used for political purposes. “The protest was going on in the varsity for five hours despite imposition of Section-144, hence no option was left except calling the law enforcement personnel,” the university spokesperson said.
Mr. Imran said that the administration tried its best to convince the protesting students, but to no avail. “And the situation eventually got to this extreme.”
PPP demands release of detained students
Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned brutal police torture on the students of Peshawar University and asked the government not to avenge its continuous failures and U-turns “from the students and youth.”
In a statement issued here, the PPP chairman said that holding peaceful protest for their rights was a democratic right of the students and subjecting them to such cruel treatment by KPK Police was an intolerable act for any democrat.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed solidarity with the Peshawar University students demanding that all the detained students should be freed forthwith and their fees should be reduced to make education affordable for every student aspiring for the professional higher education.
PPP Chairman also asked for better medical treatment to the injured students and a strong action against those responsible for torture on students.—NNI