LAHORE, April 17: Islami Jamiat Tulaba activists had not only disrupted the Pharmacy Festival 2007 at the Old Campus on Saturday last but also damaged valuables worth one million rupees, claim faculty and students of the Punjab University College of Pharmacy.
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, college’s acting principal Prof Dr Bashir Ahmad, faculty members and students said the IJT activists had also used abusive language and thrashed faculty members, injured lecturer Zeeshan Danish and hurt a number of male and female students.
The college students, wearing black dresses or black armbands as a mark of protest, said the college was celebrating the five-day festival from April 10. They said the festival involved many events like sport, exhibition of industrial units, pharmaceutical stalls, campaign against hepatitis, seminar on WTO as well as events marking the third anniversary of the college.
They said the college had constituted different committees to organise all functions in a befitting manner. The students studying in different programmes were involved in various committees to assist the management. The IJT activists were also invited to assist the management for the smooth holding of the festival. The IJT, they said, had promised to extend full cooperation.
Contrary to the understanding, they said, a mob of some 60 to 70 IJT activists entered the college forcefully at about 5.45pm on Saturday and used abusive language against the dean and principal, faculty members and college administration.
The faculty and students alleged that the IJT activists immediately started smashing windowpanes of college offices, main hall and disrupted arrangements made by the contractor for the dinner, in which about 2,000 guests had been invited.
They said the assailants damaged the entire crockery, candlelights and decoration pieces worth Rs350,000. Thereafter, the assailants entered the main hall decorated by the faculty and students. They alleged that the IJT activists also smashed a TV set, multimedia, computers, rostrum, a plasma screen, studio lights and sound system. The activists also unplugged by force high voltage electric wires that caused sort circuit. The university estate officer and security guards overcame the fire in half-an-hour. According to them, the worth of the damage was Rs1 million.
Meanwhile, the activists pelted stones and bottles that caused injuries to some students, including girls. They also damaged the front screen of an air-chilling vehicle.
The complainants said that they had brought the matter to the notice of the vice-chancellor and other varsity officials immediately. The police was called to control the situation. They said the IJT act had brought a bad name to the oldest seat of learning.
Meanwhile, PU vice-chancellor Arshad Mahmood has condemned the IJT activists for their illegal activity and added that they were damaging the peaceful atmosphere of the university. He said that stern action would be taken against all those who had damaged the varsity property.
PU registrar Prof Dr Naeem Khan said the varsity had identified some hooligans and would proceed against them under the law. He said an inquiry committee would be constituted in the light of initial fact-finding report.
IJT: PU’s IJT Nazim Muhammad Ayub said that the Jamiat would never allow music and such functions on the campus.
He said the pharmacy college faculty and students had invited singer Abrarul Haq and were going to hold a concert on Saturday evening.
He denied that the IJT activists had thrashed any teacher or student and added that lecturer Zeeshan had faked the injuries. He said the activists had only torn down a banner besides smashing some windowpanes but denied having damaged varsity property.
Mr Ayub said that the university administration should follow the PU calendar while organising functions on the campus.
Lecturer Mr Danish said the IJT activists were making threatening calls to him.
College student Ms Usama said the assailants had come to the college on three university buses. She said the girls had saved their lives by taking shelter in the common room. She said the IJT’s female activists had also created a conservative environment in girls hostels. “We are not allowed to enjoy music or hold birthday parties,” she claimed. —Staff Reporter