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Unprecedented protest at Punjab University against treatment of Imran Khan



LAHORE-Premier educational institutions in the City witnessed students rallies against the emergency and IJT’s manhandling and handing over of Imran Khan to the police.

The pick of these protests was seen in the Punjab University where thousands of students registered their protest against IJT for roughing up Imran Khan and later producing him before police.

A huge protest demo was staged by students at the Punjab University to condemn the arrest of cricket hero turned politician Imran Khan and the role of Islami Jamiat Tulaba in the whole situation.
There had been no call from any group or organisation for the protest staged as a mark of solidarity with Imran Khan and to condemn the IJT.

The protests began at 9:30 am when about 100 students gathered at the PU’s Law College.

The students both male and female formed a procession and moved to other departments. The whole university came alive in protest as the number of protesters swelled to thousands. They shouted slogans against IJT.

The angry students ransacked the IJT office in the Chemical Technology Department, IER and Geology Department (IJT’s main office).

They broke the window panes and challenged the IJT leaders to come out in open. 

Reportedly many IJT workers and Nazims were upset with the thrashing of Imran Khan and his arrest and they also joined the protest. There were reports that they would hold a Press conference at the Hailey College to announce their disassociation with IJT. The conference could not be held but some sources disclosed that it may be held on Friday(today).

The protesters went all around the varsity. They shouted slogans for restoration of democracy and lifting of emergency in front of Vice Chancellor’s office.

Interestingly the students had no leaders making speeches and they were not carrying any banners.

Some students, however, were carrying placards with protest slogans inscribed on them. 

No classes could be held in the varsity’s various departments. The faculty members did not join the students protest but they expressed solidarity with them.

According to some faculty members the protest was unprecedented. ‘There has never been such a protest in the last 25 years. Even the IJT could never stage such a big protest. This is also for the first time that any protest has been staged by someone else other than IJT. Being against IJT the protest comes as a surprise’, a faculty member said. 

‘The protest was a mark of solidarity and reflected the diverse opinion we have in the varsity. It shows mood of the majority of students. As long as the protests are peaceful we have no problem with them’, PU’s Registrar Dr Naeem Khan said. 
The Punjab University Teachers Front’s Executive Committee held a meeting on Thursday noon. The meeting condemned the IJT and the police men in civvies for torturing and beating Imran Khan.

‘He is our national hero and a great philanthropist. He built image of Pakistan around the globe and won accolades for the country. An honest and straight forward politician Imran Khan should be immediately released unconditionally’.
The Jamaat leaders including Ameerul Azeem were also present on the occasion.’ Why were they not arrested? The IJT’s student leaders who took part in the deplorable action are not students of PU. They have been rusticated and expelled’. 
‘The conduct of PU administration with regard to putting no check on these non-students is also deplorable’, the meeting added.

Students in many educational institutions across the City staged peaceful protest demos demanding end to emergency rule, fair elections under an impartial govt and release of all political prisoners unconditionally. 
The students of National College of Arts held a protest against the imposition of emergency and the current political situation in the country.

The students and faculty members staged the protest within the college premises. They were holding placards and raised slogans for the restoration of democracy.

They demanded the restoration of the Constitution of Pakistan and the judiciary. The students came up with a unanimous resolution calling for free and fair elections and the reinstatement of judges.

They demanded that media and human rights activists should not be targetted by the govt agencies. They announced full support for the struggle launched by the lawyers and human rights activists. They condemned and deplored the action taken against Imran Khan. 

Students of many varsities and colleges staged protest peacefully within the premises of their institutions. The protest camp set up by students of Lahore University of Management Sciences in DHA continued also on Thursday.
In Beaconhouse University and FAST University many students wore black arm bands as a mark of protest. In the Lahore University on Raiwind Road the students staged a big demo calling for end to the emergency rule in the country and restoration of true democracy.

The students flayed the arrest of political workers and lawyers and called for their immediate release unconditionally and withdrawal of cases against them. 

Meanwhile, after a strong protest by the Punjab University students and the ransacking of three Islami Jamiat Tulaba offices, the IJT leaders many of whom have already been expelled or rusticated from the varsity for many months have now gone underground. 

The sources disclosed the PU admin is expected to launch a search and crackdown on illegal residents in the hostels.
‘There is a routine checking of illegal residents. The expelled students are not supposed to be there and we are going to come down heavily on them this time’, an official said.

Monitoring Desk adds: Police released the three sisters of PTI chief Imran Khan late on Thursday night, reports a private TV channel

The Nation

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