KARACHI: A senior professor of the University of Karachi has gone missing and is believed to have been taken away by law enforcement agencies soon after he left the KU on Friday evening, his colleagues said on Saturday.
Prof Dr Riaz Ahmed, head of the Applied Chemistry Department at KU, had left the varsity on Friday evening for his home but could not reach there.
Dr Jamil Hasan Kazmi, president of the Karachi University Teachers Society (Kuts), told Dawn that the professor had made phone contact with another faculty member at around 9.45pm on Friday when he left the varsity. He went missing somewhere on his way home.
Teachers condemn ‘disappearance’ of their colleague, warn of protest
A senior police officer, who wished not to be named, told Dawn that the police had not received a “formal application” from the family about the KU professor’s disappearance.
Answering a question about media reports that Dr Riaz Ahmed was suspected to be a “sympathiser” of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), Kuts official Dr Kazmi said they had not heard Dr Ahmed speak at any forum in support of the PTM’s cause.
Meanwhile, Kuts held an emergent meeting at KU, which condemned the “mysterious disappearance” of their colleague.
They said the ‘disappearance’ of the professor was likely to create a negative impact on society.
Kuts expressed their concerns over the “atmosphere of suffocation and fear” at KU.
They said they were concerned that such incidents were happening at KU repeatedly, which had adversely affected the academic and research atmosphere at the varsity besides disheartening the faculty.
Expressing resentment over the disappearance of Dr Ahmed, Kuts urged the army chief, chief justice of Pakistan, prime minister and the chief minister of Sindh to ensure immediate recovery of the professor.
They also said the entry test for MPhil and PhD candidates would be held on Sunday (today) as was scheduled “in larger interest of the students” but its results would not be announced till Dr Riaz’s recovery.
Kuts also announced that it would hold a protest demonstration and a press conference at the KU’s Arts Lobby on Sunday at around 12.30pm after the entry test. All professors would wear black armbands on Sunday while another meeting of Kuts would be held on Monday at the Arts Auditorium to chalk out a future line of action, said Kuts secretary Dr Moiz Khan.
Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2018