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MULTAN: Police conducted a search operation at Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) on Monday to arrest the suspects involved in torturing a student on campus after having lodged a first information report (FIR) of the incident

A video clip of the incident had gone viral on Sunday and the chief minister directed the city police officer (CPO) to submit a report to him on the issue.

Alpha police lodged the FIR on the complaint of Khalil Ahmed, a resident of Dera Bugti, against eight identified and 20 unidentified persons under sections 337-A, 337-F, 148 and 149 of the PPC who stated that he was a student of MSc Psychology and resided at the Umer Hall of the university’s hospital.

He claimed that on Sept 7, he was standing near the gate of the hostel when Mahar Naveed, Abdul Rehman Lodhi, Waqas Gujar, Ramzan Harraj, Amjad Jatt, Rana Junaid, Faisal Chandia, Aoun Khosa and at least 15 unidentified persons armed with clubs, iron rods and pistols attacked him.

After he raised a hue and cry, other students came to rescue him. He claimed that the suspects were associated with Peoples Student Organisation and due to organisational affairs such clashes were a routine matter.

Meanwhile, after Chief Minister Usman Buzdar took notice of the incident, police conducted a search operation on the request of the university administration mainly headed by the varsity administration; however no arrests were made.

The CPO along other officers visited the university where he held meetings with the university’s Registrar Dr Umer Chaudhry and Resident Officer Dr Muqarrab Akbar to discuss a strategy to counter such incidents of violence on campus.

Sources said that a group of teachers that has developed differences with Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Tahir Amin is behind the repeated clashes and supports both sides simultaneously. They said that before proceeding on leave three weeks ago the VC had directed the university treasurer to take action against some members of the administrative group by recovering outstanding amounts from them.

They further said that the purpose of the clash was to pressurise the VC to stop him from taking action against the administration members. Both the clashing groups were being patronised by the same administration members, they stated, but added that both the groups themselves got FIRs registered against each other. Around eight students were reportedly injured in three clashes within a week.

BZU Public Relations Director Dr Abdul Qudoos Sohaib said that a report has been dispatched to the chief minister and a copy provided to the CPO. Multiple FIRs were already lodged against the suspects and now disciplinary action has been initiated against them, which is a time-consuming process.

“The university administration even cancelled hostel allotments of these students, but they got relief from courts,” he added.

Dr Sohaib claimed that the university administration had got three FIRs registered against the students.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018