Dozens of activists of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) critically injured a senior professor of the Punjab University, ransacked his office, damaged vehicles outside his office and also attacked the Vice Chancellor (VC) Office and the VC House at varsity’s New Campus on Thursday.
The varsity officials said the violent reaction was the result of expulsion of some students belonging to the IJT. They said around five IJT activists, whose cases were processed by the varsity’s Disciplinary Committee, were issued expulsion notifications on Thursday, which aggravated the situation.
The officials further alleged that dozens of Jamiat activists attacked the office of the PU College of Earth & Environmental Sciences (CEES) Prof Dr Iftikhar Hussain Baloch, who was also Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, with sticks and rods at around 3:30 pm. They added some activists then moved to the VC Office and his residence and caused damage to the properties.
They further said since the Jamiat activists were more in number, the university guards failed to resist and stop them. PU Resident Officer (RO) Prof Shahid Mahmood Gul and Chairman Hall Council Prof Dr Muhammad Akhtar said Dr Baloch had received severe head injuries and fell unconscious for quite some time, adding he was taken to Jinnah Hospital but was referred to the Services Hospital.
They said Dr Iftikhar Baloch was the main target of the IJT activists as he was heading the Disciplinary Committee which had recently expelled some of their colleagues after through investigations including opportunity of personal hearing.
The IJT, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), had earlier blocked the main Canal Road as a protest against the expulsion of their colleagues. However, after police intervention, they left the scene and entered the university premises.
Meanwhile, addressing an emergent press conference at the PU Executive Club, VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, who was flanked by other officials said Jamiat activists were involved in the incident, adding it was the darkest day in the history of the Punjab University. They strongly condemned the incident
PU Chapter IJT Nazim Hasaan Bin Salman, who is the son of noted JI leader Hafiz Salman Butt, said those involved in the incident were not members of the Jamiat, adding it was unfortunate that the varsity administration was implicating the IJT. “In fact, I myself went to disperse the students who were earlier protesting by blocking the main Canal Road,” he claimed adding “The Jamiat strongly condemns the incident.”
Meanwhile, an IJT press statement also denied involvement of its activists in the incident. PU Chapter Jamiat’s secretary information Hanan Nafees alleged in the statement that the PU administration was levelling baseless allegations against the student organisation. “Each year before the book fair, the PU admin accuses the Jamiat to damage the academic activity organized by Jamiat,” it concluded.
Meanwhile, Insaf Students Federation (ISF), the student wing of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), has condemned the IJT attack alleging the so-called student organization, Jamiat, was a terrorist organisation. ISF Lahore general secretary Farrukh Habib and PU chapter president Kamil Hameed said many FIRs had been registered against the Jamiat activists but no action had been taken.