LAHORE: Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) activists on Monday allegedly attacked a gathering of students at Punjab University new campus when they were celebrating Holi with the permission of the administration.

At least 15 students of Hindu community were injured during the attack against which an application had been filed with the police for registration of a case.

A number of videos [viral on social media] showed that the Hindu community students were being thrashed for holding Holi on the campus.

Some other videos also showed that the security guards were carrying batons and beating the students and they were running from the scene.

Sindh Council general secretary Kashif Brohi told Dawn that the members of the Hindu community and the council had organised a Holi celebration after getting permission from the university administration.

He said the IJT activists started hurling threats after students had posted invitation [Holi celebration] on their Facebook page.

He said on Monday morning the members of the Sindh Council and Hindu community gathered outside PU law College to celebrate the Holi when the IJT activists carrying guns and batons attacked them.

Mr Brohi said 15 students from Hindu community and Sindh Council suffered injuries during clashes and moved away without celebrating the event.

He said the students later gathered to protest outside the vice chancellor office when the security guards came there holding batons and started beating them.

He said the security guards also bundled four to five students into their vans and did not allow them to record their peaceful protest.

He said an application was submitted to the administration and police for registration of case against the IJT activists and security guards for torturing them.

IJT spokesperson Ibrahim Shahid told Dawn that they did not stop the Hindu community members from celebrating Holi.

He said the attackers might have used their name but the IJT would ensure equality to minority community members to hold their religious events.

He said the security guards might have attacked the students and IJT had nothing to do with it.

He said they were holding Dars-i-Quran on the campus and were not present there.

A PU spokesman said action would be taken against the students involved in attacking minority community members.

To a query, he said the administration had allowed the Hindu community members to obsereve the Holi in a hall but they were conducting the activity in the open and the security guards came there to stop it.

He said the students were not allowed to hold the Holi celebration on the ground.

He said the students suffered minor injuries and disciplinary action would be taken against those involved in the clash.

He said the security staff did not attack the students but they were trying to stop the youngsters from approaching the VC office.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2023

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