HYDERABAD, Sept 4: Activists of civil society organisations under the aegis of the Save Sindh University and Education Committee (SSUEC) staged an hour-long sit-in at a section of the Super Highway near the Kotri crossing on Tuesday and demanded the removal of Sindh University vice chancellor Dr Nazir A. Mughal.
They also demanded withdrawal of Rangers personnel from the university premises, arrest of Prof Bashir Channar’s killers, restoration of students union and appointment of in-service VCs under the criteria laid down by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
The protesters started their march from the Allama I.I. Kazi mausoleum before staging the sit-in, which caused suspension of vehicular traffic on the Indus Highway and the Superhighway for an hour. A contingent of the police and Rangers remained present to maintain law and order.
Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz-B acting chairman Dr Niaz Kalani, Jeay Sindh Mahaz chairman Riaz Chandio, Awami Jamhoori Party chief Abrar Qazi, writer and activist Jami Chandio, HRCP activist Dr Ashothama, Labour Party leader Dr Bakshal Thallu, activists of other civil society organisations, teachers and students participated in the protest.
The SSUEC, which was formed last month during a dialogue organised by an NGO, had persuaded SU teachers to end their boycott of academic activities. On Aug 27, it submitted a memorandum in the VC office urging Dr Mughal to quit honourably.
Speaking to the protesters, SSUEC coordinator Punhal Sario announced that a ‘black day’ would be observed on Sept 13 to press the government to meet the demands.
He warned that a siege to the Governor’s House would be laid if the demands were not met.
Mr Sario said that a crisis had prevailed at the Sindh University for the past nine months and as many as six students and one teacher had already lost their lives in the campus violence relating to the issues.
In her speech, Sindh University Teachers Association general-secretary Dr Arfana Mallah accused the university administration of having tried to sabotage the Tuesday protest by plying point buses for teachers and students much before the scheduled time of 3pm. She said that the sit-in was to begin at 2pm but the point buses were run from campus at 1pm.
“Yet students in a large number took part in the sit-in and we didn’t suspend academic activities. Even the evening shift examination remained unaffected,” she said.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the SU public relations officer’s office on behalf of some teachers described the sit-in as ‘a flop show’.