Avoidable controversy: KMC teacher-student spat sparks tension, other perspective

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The administration of Khyber Medical College (KMC) has initiated an inquiry into a row that occurred between a female student and a male teacher on Thursday.

According to sources inside the university, female students were holding elections for the girl representative (GR) and among the candidates was Shabnam*, who had donned a headscarf that covered her face.

Dr Iqbal Khan*, a faculty member present in the classroom to oversee the election, reportedly said that girls whose faces are visible should contest the elections so the GR can be easily identified by potential voters. He is also reported to have said that if elected as the GR, students will not be able to identify Shabnam if she wears a veil. This led to a verbal spat between the student and the professor. Officials said Shabnam argued that the scarf was a religious necessity and later reportedly snatched the professor’s microphone, creating a tense situation. The issue was then reported to the KMC principal.

Afterwards, students affiliated with various religious parties began protesting against the professor, but dispersed when K-P Minister for Information Shah Farman visited the college and ordered the formation of an inquiry committee to look into the issue.

“The committee, with a female member, has recorded the female student’s statement and planned to record the professor’s version of events on Friday evening,” said a faculty member of the college requesting anonymity. The official added the complete audio recording of the verbal spat between the two parties was available with the inquiry committee.

The official said Khan has been banned from entering the college premises as the protesting students, who demanded his termination, may take matters into their own hands.

The inquiry committee also includes senior serving and retired members from other departments of the college, he added.

*Names have been changed to protect identities

Source: The Express Tribune.