KARACHI: The Karachi University (KU) administration on Thursday ordered an inquiry into the alleged manhandling of a student by Rangers’ official after a video of the incident went viral on the social media.

Sources said the student was repeatedly slapped by a Rangers’ official when he argued with him over the tougher security measures adopted on the day for the Rangers’ director general, who was invited to the campus for a meeting.

Source said the meeting of Rangers’ top official with teachers and administration officials was aimed at seeking suggestions on how to tackle the new kind of extremism affecting the society that led to the suicide attack.

“No one was being allowed to take motorbikes inside the campus on Thursday, which was quite frustrating for students, who have been experiencing a tough time since the April 26 suicide attack on Chinese teachers after which the university imposed stricter restrictions on students,” a KU official told Dawn.

The university, sources said, had adopted manual entry procedures forcing students to wait outside the campus for long hours after which they had to walk at least two to three kilometres more to reach their respective departments.

“The situation is more difficult for female students as the university administration has banned rickshaws and pick-and-drop vans into the campus and the process to register them is yet to start,” a senior university said, adding that the main cafeteria and tuck shops had been kept closed since the attack.

Sources said the university administration was still undecided about how to devise an efficient security plan for the campus facing multiple challenges for decades.

These challenges, they said, were related to university’s financial crisis as well as untrained security staff, most of whom had been inducted on political grounds whereas a few of them had been found involved in thefts on the campus.

“It’s because of these issues that the university administration is forced to seek assistance from the Rangers, who often resort to brutal force whenever they are called in, creating unrest of a different kind on the campus,” explained another teacher, suggesting that students’ trouble might aggravate in the coming days when examinations would start.

Sources said the assistance for security measures promised by the provincial government soon after the attack was yet to arrive.

The university, they said, should have closed down for a few weeks after the suicide attack to prepare and equip itself with latest security gadgets in order to avoid inconvenience to students.

“It would have also built up pressure on the government to provide security equipment at the earliest. The university needs walk-through gates, baggage scanners, handheld metal detectors and vehicle inspection devices.”

The KU security adviser was not available for comments.

A KU spokesperson stated that the university had inducted a few more buses that should be used for free shuttle service from Friday.

“Only 20 to 25 students stand in a queue outside the university now. The main cafeteria is being re-opened on Friday along with two tuck shops,” he said, adding that rickshaws and vans would be allowed once their registration process was completed.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2022

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