KARACHI, Jan 13: Students protesting against the Karachi University admission policy on Friday entered examination centres, snatched and tore up answer scripts, and forced thousands of candidates taking BCom and BA annual examinations on the campus to flee.

The KU administration failed to pre-empt the strike despite the fact that the students have been agitating against the admission policy since Wednesday.

BCom (Part-I) and BA (Part-I) male candidates were taking their Economics and Geography / Mass Communication papers, respectively, at the examination centres set up in different departments of the varsity when some students holding batons entered and threatened them with dire consequences if they did not leave at once.

Panic-stricken, most candidates rushed out of their centres leaving the answer scripts on desks, while most of those taking exams in the centres far from the administration block managed to complete their paper and deliver it to invigilators.

Despite having its own security force in addition to Rangers personnel on the campus, the authorities remained unable to take foolproof security measures for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the exams.

The BCom (Part-I) Economics paper for regular candidates and BA Geography-I / Mass Communication-I papers were originally scheduled to be held on Jan 9 but were postponed at the eleventh hour due to the public holiday declared by the Sindh government on account of the annual Urs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai.

The papers were then rescheduled for Friday but male candidates, whose centres had been set up at various departments of the university, could not take their papers due to the violent protest.

However, girls taking the BCom and BA annual exams at the centres set up in different colleges in the city did not face any such problem.

Timetable, marks

The KU examination department has announced that the candidates of the affected exam centres could take the papers, scheduled for Friday, along with external candidates on Feb 1 from 2pm to 5pm at the same centres.

Interestingly, the university also announced that the candidates who did not wish to appear in the exam again would be given ‘average marks as per KU rules’.

According to a spokesperson, the degree classes papers scheduled for Saturday (Jan 14) would be held as per original timetable and orientation class for fresh entrants would also be conducted on Saturday.

“The university administration has taken a number of security measures for the smooth conduct of the exams.”

He said there would be a complete ban on the entry of vehicles of unconcerned people into the varsity and only students would be allowed to enter the university through Maskan or Silver Jubilee gates whereas only employees of the university would be allowed to enter through the Staff Gate.

The spokesperson claimed that those who disrupted Friday papers wanted to get ‘unlawful’ admission to the university.

Kuts

Karachi University Teachers Society President Prof Mutahir Ahmed, who along with other office-bearers of the society had been monitoring the admission process, condemned the Friday incident.

He urged the university administration not to yield to the ‘uncalled for’ and ‘unrealistic’ demand of those who were using pressure tactics to get admission to the university.

“The admission process is absolutely transparent and based on merit,” he claimed.

Voicing his concern over the prevailing inadequate security measures on the campus, Prof Ahmed said that he had brought the issue to the notice of the vice chancellor, Prof (Dr) Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, and the latter had assured him of foolproof security measures for the protection and safety of faculty members, students and employees.

He said that the faculty members of university would neither tolerate any external pressure nor allow the ‘outsiders’ to destroy the peaceful atmosphere of the university.

He said that the Kuts executive committee would meet on Saturday to discuss the prevailing situation and chalk out its future line of action.

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