The University of Peshawar’s 13 students are facing rustication for use of violence against each other on campus.
Seven of these students are from the Pakhtun Students Federation (PkSF) and the rest from the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), according to sources in the university.
PkSF and IJT are the student wings of the Awami National Party and the Jamaat-i-Islami respectively.
On Feb 14, the PkSF had taken out a walk to mark the Valentine’s Day prompting the IJT to celebrate the day as the Modesty Day.
That led to a clash between the two groups on campus.
The administration said the IJT activists torched five hostel rooms belonging to PkSF workers on the day, while the PkSF activists retaliated on Monday setting eight hostel rooms of IJT students on fire.
When contacted, UoP Provost and secretary of the University Discipline Committee Dr Alam Khan said the charges against the accused were being examined.
“Police are looking into the criminal side of the case, while the university is investigating the disciplinary aspect of the case,” he said.
The provost said the administration was in contact with the departments of the students charged with violence. “By Monday, we will get the case reports from police and the departments. Action against the accused will be taken in light of those reports,” he said.
According to Dr Alam, students may face disciplinary action, including penalties and expulsion from the university.
He said if convicted, the students could move the appellate committee head by the vice chancellor against the sentence.
Sources said all students submitted undertaking at the time of admission that they won’t take part in politics but political activities on campus were rife.
According to them, the four universities, including University of Peshawar, Islamia College University, University of Engineering and Technology, and Agricultural University, had decided to secure the said undertaking from students after the IJT activists killed Adnan Khan, a final-year student of UET, for playing music in hostel in March 2010.
However, they said, the students’ political activities continued without let or hindrance.
The sources said though student politics were banned in the said universities, students got inspiration from teachers, who took out rallies, held elections and organised protests on campus.
They said like students, their teachers too were associated with ANP and JI, which had been using their student wings to serve own interests in universities.
The sources said in presence of the teachers’ association, the administration couldn’t take disciplinary action against students. They said majority of teachers, who were active in university politics, held senior positions and therefore, they protected students belonging to their parties.
The sources said the university administration could easily terminate students if it wanted to do so. “The varsity has to ban teachers’ involvement in politics and once that happens, the student politics will end automatically,” a source said.
The undertaking given by their guardians say all students will abide by the rules and regulations and will not take part in strikes, meetings, social, political, cultural or religious functions, events and gatherings organised by any group of students on campus.
Under it, students can’t display political parties’ badges, pamphlets and other printed materials, and possess daggers, sticks, arms or explosives or any lethal instruments.
The undertaking also disallows students from having unauthorised individuals in their rooms.
And in case of the undertaking’s violation, students will face serious disciplinary proceedings, including penalties and expulsion from the hostel.
The UoP provost said the university had taken action against several students for violating discipline and among them was a student of physics department, who was rusticated for attacking a teacher. He said the hostels had been freed from outsiders and irrelevant people.
“We will continue punishing students violating rules,” he said.
Source: Dawn News.