KARACHI, July 12: Various civil society groups on Thursday condemned a gun attack on two female teachers of Sindh University and demanded a judicial probe into the incident along with the attack that had claimed the life of a senior university teacher, Prof Chhaner, a few months back.

The culprits be caught, tried and punished according to the law, demanded representatives of the civil society organisations (CSOs) while speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday.

On behalf of the CSOs and the two teachers, Amar Sindhu and Arfana Mallah, Women Action Forum’s Anis Haroon said that the teachers were travelling to Hyderabad on Monday night when three masked men opened fire on their car on the Northern Bypass in Gadap. She said one of the bullets grazed Ms Sindhu’s back, while the attackers managed to escape. She said the teachers raced to a nearby hospital to get medical treatment and later went to a police station to lodge an FIR.

Ms Sindhu said that the police did not register the case and tried to misguide them by sending them from one police station to another.

Eventually they moved court that on Thursday ordered the registration of an FIR, she claimed.

Ms Mallah said the university vice chancellor had been giving shelter to criminal elements. He was sent on a leave for four months following teachers’ protests seeking his removal over the killing of their senior colleague, Prof Chanar, on the campus. After the leave period ended, he resumed work without any hindrance, causing unrest among faculty members.

Ms Haroon said that there had been a standoff between the VC and the associations of teachers and university employees who had been protesting against Prof Chanar’s killing in which VC’s involvement was suspected. She said he had been suppressing protests instead of taking action against the culprits.

She demanded a thorough inquiry into the activities of the vice chancellor who was said to have the backing of some ruling party leaders. She said it was shameful if the VC of an educational institution of higher learning was using criminals to intimidate the faculty.

All the three speakers demanded that the governor, being the chancellor of the university, take immediate notice, remove and replace the VC, who they said had become controversial with someone else on the basis of merit.

The two teachers said that at least five people had been murdered on the campus since the present VC had assumed office. They said that when the present VC returned to the office the registrar resigned and the office-bearers of the teachers’ organisations urged the governor to provide them protection. “But no action was taken and now after some time we were attacked,” they said.

Besides Aurat Foundation, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Shirkatgah, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, SPO, Asian Human Rights Commission and other CSOs extended support to the two teachers and their demands.

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