LARKANA: A strong contingent of police led by a DSP and two SHOs on Thursday entered the Larkana campus of the Sindh University in a near-showdown situation involving protesting students on one side and an armed campus official and his body guards on the other.

The students, protesting against the SU administration for not organising annual tours and sports weeks on the campus, boycotted the BBA, BCS and BS (English) midterm examinations and raised slogans. The situation grew tense when the official in charge of the campus, Bisharat Abbasi, waving his pistol tried to scare away the protesters. He also called in his armed private guards and along with them threatened students and journalists covering the unrest with the firearms.

However, their threatening posture aggravated the situation as outraged students intensified their protest raising slogans against Mr Abbasi, pro-vice chancellor Prof Hakim Kanasro and the administration. One of Mr Abbasi’s bodyguards also fired shots.

Sensing danger of a showdown, Mr Abbasi called out police and DSP Mohammed Khan Siyal and SHOs of the Waleed and Civil Lines police stations along with a strong contingent of personnel entered the campus to bring the situation under control.

The police took Mr Abbasi, his bodyguards Qutubuddin Channa and Rustam Kori, Shafqat Abbasi (brother of Bisharat Abbasi), Iqbal Kalhoro and Anwar Kalhoro into protective custody and whisked them away to the Waleed police station.

The protesting students told journalists that the campus administration was provided funds for the tours and sports events but no such programmes were being organised.

They came out of the campus and blocked Larkana-Ratodero Road with burning tyres. While the protest was continuing, two FIRs were lodged at the Waleed police station, one by a journalist, Zaheer Abro, and the other by a student, Adeeb Chandio, against Bisharat Abbasi and his associates.

Later, Nadir Mughiri, the spokesman for the SU vice chancellor, told Dawn that the official in charge of the campus had to called out his bodyguards for protection as the protesting students had smashed the windscreen of his car and tried to manhandle him. “Some miscreants are trying to disturb the campus atmosphere,” he said.

He said the registrar had also written to the Larkana DIG for an impartial inquiry.

The vice chancellor has constituted a four-member committee comprising SU Dadu campus pro-VC Prof Dr Anwar Shah, Thatta campus pro-VC Prof Dr Sarfraz, Larkana pro-VC Prof Hakim Kansaro and Prof Dr Mohammed Bukhsh to hold an inquiry into the episode and prepare a report on the overall affairs of the Larkana campus. The committee will start its work tomorrow (Friday).

Student’s demotion suspended

A division bench of the Sindh High Court Larkana circuit suspended Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology (Quest), Nawabshah, registrar’s order reverting a fourth-year student to fifth term from seventh term.Suspending the registrar’s order, the bench issued notices to the respondents for April 15.

The bench comprising Justice Nadeem Akhtar and Justice Amer Raza Naqvi was seized with a petition filed by the student, Tayaba Abbasi.

Advocate Shamsuddin Abbasi appearing on behalf of the petitioner pleaded that Ms Abbasi was a student of fourth year and after successfully completing the sixth semester, she was currently attending classes of seventh semester.

He informed the bench that she appeared in a test conducted under the Global Undergraduate Exchange Programme for Pakistan fall 2014 for one semester at the Middle Tennessee State University, USA. She had gone there with the permission of registrar and vice chancellor concerned.

On her return, she resumed the classes on Dec 15, 2014 and appeared in the sixth semester examination.

However, she was not only refused the ‘sessional marks’ but also ordered to be termed back.

The counsel prayed to court to reverse the registrar’s order.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2015

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