ISLAMABAD: Fear and panic gripped International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) after two groups of students clashed, leaving several students injured on Monday.

University officials said the clash erupted between students affiliated with Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba (IJT) and Pashtoon Council, which has support from students belonging to Gilgit-Baltistan, south Punjab, AJK and other areas.

The officials said that last month the two groups had also clashed at Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU).

Both the groups staged a protest demonstration at the IIUI on Monday. One of the groups held a rally at the main gate and on Kashmir Highway while a number of students belonging to the other group were camped outside the university’s administration block.

Pashtoon Council members claimed that students affiliated with Jamiat attacked their rally first. However, the IJT students denied this and said those involved in the murder of one of their colleagues at the university two years ago were still roaming freely.

IIUI Rector Dr Masoom Yasinzai said: “The Islamabad administration and police have brought the situation under control. Tomorrow, the university will remain open. Today’s unfortunate incident was fallout of a recent fight between IJT and Pashtoon Council at QAU.”

He said IIUI will not allow any student groups to promote its political agenda on the campus.

“We support the concept of student unions which should be meant for highlighting students’ issues and rights but these people are hooligans and they have nothing to do with student politics,” the rector added.

He added that the IIUI board of governors had already decided that the university will not recognise these groups.

The rector said the capital administration will take action against those involved in the incident.

“We are sharing CCTV footage with the police and the administration,” he said, adding the student disciplinary committee had also been asked to investigate the incident.

“We have around 30,000 students and out of them there are 30 hooligans, so we will not allow them to disturb the environment of the university,” he said.

Meanwhile, a press release issued by the police said heavy contingent rushed to the IIUI to control the situation, adding no one would be allowed to violate the law.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2022

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