Monday Oct 23 2017

Police detain over 70 protesting students as classes resume at QAU


ISLAMABAD: Police on Monday cracked down at Quaid-e-Azam University and detained over 70 students, as they resumed protesting against the varsity's decision to raise tuition fees.

The students laid down in front of the varsity buses early Monday morning, officials said, following which police sprung into action and arrested them.

A large number of police and FC personnel, along with female police personnel, were present at the campus to ensure that classes were not interrupted.

Sporadic clashes between protesting students and the law enforcers were reported at various places on the campus.

Police arrest students of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) as the university open after two weeks. —ONLINE 
QAU students protesting against police crackdown on the university, outside National Press Club. — ONLINE

A student told Geo News that protesters barged into their classroom and disrupted the class, after which they all went out. "Later, the police detained a number of my classmates," he said.

It was earlier reported that educational sessions would resume at the varsity Monday, in a bid to end the three-week break due to the students' protest.

Late on Thursday night, the university administration and the protesting students held negotiations, following which the decision to increase the fees was withdrawn after 16 days.

Police officials at the QAU campus Oct 23, 2017. Photo: Geo News 

However, the issue of students detained during earlier clashes still remains unresolved.

The vice chancellor of the varsity says not all of the arrested individuals are students and that they will request the authorities for action against outsiders.

The university's syndicate has made a three-member committee to review the sentences given to the students.

In the beginning of October, students started protesting for better facilities at the hostels and for the cancellation of recent hike in fees.

Students at the varsity during a crackdown by the police. — ONLINE

A heavy contingent of police arrived to control the unrest, firing tear-gas shells to disperse raged students. Authorities also called in Rangers to control the situation.

The injured students were shifted to a hospital. A few of them were also said to have received gunshot wounds.

Students protest as the university opens after two weeks. — ONLINE

The students were accused of possession of illegal weapons, wreaking havoc and attempted murder.

Senate chief calls for release of arrested students

Meanwhile, Chairman Senate called for releasing arrested students of the varsity. "The government should take measures for the release of students who have been apprehended," he said.

Minister of State Baligh Ur Rehman said around 80 per cent of the students attended the varsity classes on Monday.

"A few students attempted to hinder the process, however, it went ahead after nearly two-week hiatus," he added.