PESHAWAR, April 1: The administration has decided to restrict the entry of irrelevant people to the hostels of University of Peshawar in order to prevent occurrence of any untoward incident, campus police and administration officials said.
“A clash between two students groups – Pakhtun Students Federation and Azad Pakhtun Students Federation – last week had led to firing in which one student has received minor injuries,” the officials said. Subsequently, the varsity’s police carried out a search operation at the New Hostel and recovered four unlicenced pistols and several bottles of liquor, they said.
Not only this, but the varsity had to cancel a visit by US Ambassador Cameron Munter to the political science department after a group of students warned of a protest.
“Despite cancellation of the envoy’s visit to the campus, the students held a protest demonstration, which led to their baton-charge and arrests by the police,” the officials said.
In early March, the varsity also had to cancel a visit by the Peshawar corps commander, who was invited to a seminar at the political science department, due to security reasons.
Officials of the campus police said that it was felt that a serious review of the security situation in the university was essential in view of the latest events, which also included a visit by activists of a jihadi organisation and lecture and distribution of pro-jihad pamphlets.
“We have informed the university administration to convey to us about visit by any dignitary to the campus so we can make proper security arrangements,” the police officials said. They said that the university administration had been requested to keep the visits of high-profile people secret due to security reasons.
They said that in many cases the university’s departments displayed banners and posters about such visits that often culminated in protests.
As the varsity opens today (Monday) after the weekly holidays, the police have planned to start verifying identity of all the students before their entry to the hostels. “The students would be allowed to enter the hostels after verification of their hostel cards because there are dozens of people who were not students, but lived in hostels illegally,” they said.
The officials said that the verification of room allotment of students would be conducted in seven hostels of the University of Peshawar where it was believed that non-students had been living.
These people have been living in hostels using someone else’s cards and they could create law and order problem, said the officials.
Some of the outsiders have bought hostel cards from the students who didn’t live there themselves, they said.
Each student has to pay Rs17,000 as hostel room allotment charges a year, which they had sold out to outsiders on more than double the amount they had paid, the officials said. “Any student found guilty of facilitating the entry of non-students to the hostel would be dealt with strictly.
Each of the students has signed an affidavit with the varsity’s administration at the time of their admission wherein they have given undertaking that they would abide by rules and regulations, and in case of any violation, they can be struck off from their respective department where they study,” the university officials said.