KARACHI, Aug 26 Three students of Karachi University were killed and 10 others wounded in clashes between workers of the Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba and the All Pakistan Muttahida Student Organisation on the campus on Tuesday, police and witnesses said.
The KU administration announced that the varsity would remain closed for two days because of the law and order situation on the campus after the clash that claimed the lives of two IJT workers and an APMSO worker.
Witnesses said panic and tension gripped the campus as the rivals exchanged heavy gunfire in the presence of Rangers, posted in almost every nook and cranny of the university.
According to a press release, PPP co-chairperson and presidential candidate Asif Ali Zardari rang up Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and condoled the death of the students. It added that the governor ordered the police and Rangers to bring terrorist elements to book. Allegations and counter-allegations were levelled by the two student organizations, holding each other responsible for initiating violent activities on the campus.
An IJT spokesman, Riaz Ahmed, told Dawn that two workers of the student wing of the Jamaat-i-Islami were shot dead and seven others wounded when APMSO workers opened fire on IJT men near the administration block.
The APMSO chief, Wahid-uz-Zaman, told a press conference that the IJT workers, including Sanaullah, Ataullah and Maaz Farooqi, stormed into different departments of the university and also tortured APMSO workers. He said later the IJT men opened fire on AMPSO workers, killing Ramish and injuring three others.
The witnesses said that tension had prevailed on the campus since 1230am after a brawl between the rival student groups. They said the situation was temporarily brought under control by the university administration with the help of Rangers.
The witnesses said the students again clashed in the evening and four people were wounded, two of them fatally, in the firing.
They said the victims, belonging to the APMSO, were taken to a private hospital near Gulistan-i-Jauhar. Hospital sources said the fatally wounded victim died a little after his arrival at the facility.
Later, the body and two of the injured were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where the dead man was identified as Syed Atif Raza and the wounded as Kashif and Asad.
The victims belonging to the IJT were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where the dead students were identified as Usama and Abdul Jabbar.
The IJT spokesman said seven IJT workers, including Niaz Qasim, Mohammed Ilyas, Maaz and Luqman, sustained bullet wounds on the campus.
Meanwhile, Campus Adviser Dr Khalid Iraqi said the clashes between the rival student groups had initially started on Saturday on the NED University campus. “Students belonging to one of the groups came to the university on Tuesday morning and roughed up rival students at about 12.30pm,” he added.
Dr Iraqi said he made efforts for a patch-up between the fighting students with the help of Rangers. “At that time the students pretended to have been calmed and reconciled with each other,” he added.
The adviser said that students belonging to one of the groups marched into the student advisory council and beat up three staff members — Dr Saleem Shahzad, Ishrat Idrees and Sadiq Ali Khan — and ransacked their office. “Following this, the students of both groups gathered at the Computer Science Department, where they had an exchange of fire,” he added.
Nusrat Idrees, the student adviser, said that she hardly knew anything more than that the groups had had a fight in the morning, which was helped patch up by her. “After this it all began again when one of the groups came into our office, ransacked it, beat up the staff and then also beat up the PA of the vice chancellor,” she said.
Soon after, she said, she heard gunshots near the computer science department.
A source in KU also confirmed that a motorcycle was also torched on the campus.
Meanwhile, the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, Karachi, has been shut for a day in the wake of the clashes at Karachi University.
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