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LAHORE: The Minhajul Quran University expelled the 320 girl students from the hostel on Sunday -- a few days after a controversial video of Pakistan Awami Tehreek Secretary-General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur went viral.

The video showing Mr Gandapur yelling at the students of the university proved embarrassing for the party.

Mr Gandapur was seen scolding students and threatening to throw them out for protesting against the administration for not allowing them to attend an Iftar party outside the university. “We all know what kind of exploitation takes place in the private hostels,” he told the students.

The girls tried to convince Mr Gandapur who refused to lend a sympathetic hearing to them and threatened them with dire consequences. He said the administration had summoned the parents of the students for a meeting and would allow them to step out of the hostel premises if the parents had no objection. “The Minhaj administration will not be responsible in case of any mishap,” he added.

Later, Mr Gandapur told media that the girls misbehaved with the hostel administration when they did not allow them to attend an Iftar party outside the university. He said no girl could leave the hostel after 6pm under the rules and if anyone wanted to go outside, she should be accompanied by a woman member of the staff.

The university administration took disciplinary action against all the students who protested against them and posted the video on social media. It announced that they had closed the hostel and cancelled the admission of the students. The institution expelled the 320 students from the hostel on Sunday.

The parents of the students held a press conference outside the Minhajul Quran Secretariat and condemned the behaviour of the PAT leader. They said it was unjust to penalise all the students because of protest by a few of them.

The parents said they had paid the entire fee at the time of the admission and the remaining dues as well and were willing to cooperate with the varsity administration. They said Mr Gandapur should have shown respect to the girl students.

Punjab Higher Education Commission chairman Dr Nizam said the students had every right to protest and they would take action against the Minhajul Quran University administration. “We will recommend action against the university administration,” he said.

Commenting on the development, PAT spokesman Noorullah Siddiqui said it was not the responsibility of Khurrum Nawaz Gandapur to look into the matters of the university but he intervened in the best interest of the students. He said they had established the hostel on the request of the parents and under the rules no girl could be allowed to leave or go outside the hostel after 6pm.

He said they had permitted the students to go outside only in case of an emergency.

“Now we have no other option but to close the hostel,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2018