PESHAWAR, March 26: At least seven persons received injuries as police resorted to baton charge teachers of Institute of Business and Management Sciences of Agricultural University when they tried to stage a protest demonstration outside Governor's House here on Saturday.
Police also fired shells of teargas at the protesting teachers to disperse them. The protesters staged a sit-in on the main Sher Shah Suri Road, resulting in disruption of traffic for at least one hour.
The teachers were protesting against the management of Agricultural University for not regularising their services and increasing their salaries. They also demanded a smooth and transparent process of promotion. The teachers were chanting vociferous slogans against management of university.
“We wanted to a present a memorandum to the governor about disbursement and 55 per cent increase in our salaries and process of promotion but police didn't allow us and charged us with batons,” Mohammad Ameen, spokesperson of protesting teachers, told journalists.
Some of the teachers, both male and female, received injuries in the baton charge. They were shifted to hospital for first aid. The injured teachers were identified as Saima Jawad, Ghazala, Zulfiqar Anjum, Mohammad Ameen, Tahir Nawaz, Kaleemullah and Wilayat Shah.
Mr Ameen said that teachers were trying to hold a peaceful demonstration for acceptance of their demands but police resorted to baton charge them.
He said that they had done nothing wrong. “We are only raising voice for our rights,” he added.
He said that it was a right of every citizen to hold peaceful protest but when they came on roads in a state of disappointment, police subjected them to severe torture.
Mr Ameen said that they were pressurised through different tactics to withdraw their petition against the university administration from Peshawar High Court. “We will never bow to any pressure and continue our struggle for our rights,” he vowed.
He said that about 104 teachers had been affected owing to the dictatorial attitude of university administration. He said that IBMS generated Rs250 million during the past few years but the administration was not regularising their services.
“The Supreme Court has also directed for removal of all retired employees, but they are still serving on contractual basis in Agricultural University,” he added.
He alleged that favouritism and nepotism were rampant in the university as there were no criteria and procedure for appointment and promotion.
The protesting teachers demanded of the governor, who is also chancellor of public sector universities in the province, to take notice of mismanagement and illegal appointments in Agricultural University.
“The university also lacks basic facilities. Books aren't available in library while no recreational and extra-curriculum activities were organised over past many years, whereas unprecedented increase in tuition fees deprived poor and needy students of education,” the protesters alleged.
They demanded of President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kauser to intervene and redress their grievances. The protesters dispersed when two of their representatives, Shah Hassan and Iqbal, were allowed to hand over their memorandum to the governor.