Urdu varsity students stage protest as another accident victim dies

Published February 11, 2017
FUUAST students block University Road in protest on Friday.—Online
FUUAST students block University Road in protest on Friday.—Online

KARACHI: A student of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (Fuuast), who had been battling for life at a hospital for the past one week after being hit by a minibus, died on Friday.

Hunza Khan, an undergraduate student at the department of education at Fuuast, had been on the ventilator at a private hospital.

In the course of just over one week, half a dozen people have died in accidents on the same portion of under-construction University Road.

Employed at a private company, Khan was married with two children. She was a resident of Surjani Town. The accident on Feb 3 had left a woman dead on the spot and two others, including Hunza, injured.

Later, on Feb 9, three girls from the same university, Rabia Batool, Amna Batool and Kiran Shehzadi, died when a bus overturned at a bus stop near the Baitul Mukkaram mosque.

Rabia was a BS student of botany department, while both Amna and Kiran were students of microbiology department.

On Friday, funeral prayers for the victims were offered. The body of Rabia was taken to her native place, Sialkot, for burial.

While speaking to Dawn, Kiran’s father Zahid Zafar said: “Kiran and Rabia were childhood friends and neighbours. They did their school, college and university education together and left this world together.

“She was the youngest of all my children and would have celebrated her 20th birthday on April 17,” said her father, adding that Kiran was studious and planned to do a doctorate in her subject.

“She loved the subject of biology. I had given her the go ahead to do whatever she wants to do in her educational pursuits. But since she couldn’t get admission to a medical college after completing her intermediate studies, she opted for microbiology and got admission to Urdu varsity along with her friend,” he recalled.

Amna’s brother, Abdullah, expressed his family’s annoyance over the media organisations which aired footage or published photos of the deceased. “It’s painful to see pictures of my sister on TV screen and in newspapers. The media should respect the feelings of victims’ families,” he said, while requesting prayers for his departed sister.

Meanwhile, infuriated over the frequent accidents, students of the Urdu university staged a protest demonstration and blocked the road for some hours in the morning.

They demanded compensation for the victims, start of a bus service for students, action against the company tasked with the reconstruction of University Road, and immediate completion of the road project.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2017

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