70 students arrested for defying Quaid-e-Azam University administration

Updated October 23, 2017

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Quaid-e-Azam University students protest against administration on Monday.—DawnNews
Quaid-e-Azam University students protest against administration on Monday.—DawnNews
QAU students standing inside a police van after being arrested during a protest. —Online
QAU students standing inside a police van after being arrested during a protest. —Online

Cracking down on students protesting against the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) administration, Islamabad police arrested 70 students on Monday in a bid to reopen the university, which has remained closed for over two weeks due to a student-admin showdown.

Negotiations were said to have been successful last week, with the students agreeing to end the strike after the vice chancellor announced that the university's syndicate meetings would also include students.

However, the syndicate members on Friday disallowed students of the QAU Students Federation's Baloch Council from attending the meeting.

The syndicate also upheld the expulsion of students, which the protesters had been seeking to overturn, while conceding ground on the withdrawal of a 10 per cent increase in fees. It also accepted 12 other demands placed by the students.

The Baloch Council, which has been leading the protests, has since continued their agitation. The other five councils have called their strike off.

Acting on request of the university administration, Islamabad police took action to ensure the university was reopened and arrested those who continued to protest. Most of those arrested belong to the Baloch Council.

"It has been brought to my notice that some ex-students and outsiders accompanied by the present students started disrupting the normal functioning of the departments and harassed the faculty and staff," a letter from the QAU Vice Chancellor (VC) Javed Ashraf to the chief commissioner Islamabad police, sent on Monday, read.

He also requested reinforcements from police "to avert any untoward incident".

Baloch Council Chairman Kamran Baloch and other students allege that Baloch students are being victimised by the university administration. The council demands that expelled Baloch students, including the council chairman, be restored.

They allege the university’s Academic Staff Association pressured the vice chancellor and the syndicate not to restore the expelled students.

“We are facing injustice,” another representative, Shahdad Baloch, said, adding that their protest would continue.

According to the university, educational activities at the campus have resumed.

Security personnel are seen inside Quaid-i-Azam University during police crackdown against protesting students. —Online
Security personnel are seen inside Quaid-i-Azam University during police crackdown against protesting students. —Online