Probe ordered into use of force against students
Kohat, Taking notice of the use of force against the protesting students of Kohat University of Science and Technology (KUST), Governor Barrister Masood Kausar has ordered the Kohat commissioner, Sahibzada Mohammad Anees, to conduct inquiry into the incident and submit a report to him.
“The governor, who is also the KUST chancellor, has asked the commissioner to look into the university affairs and fix responsibility of who ordered the use of brute force against the students by police,” official sources told this correspondent on Tuesday.
About 255 students were arrested and many were baton charged and tear gassed after they blocked the university road on Saturday last in protest against lack of facilities, loadshedding and delay in issuance of degrees to some students. Later, all students were bailed out by the court after 24 hours.
According to the initial inquiry, Vice Chancellor Nasir Jamal Khattak had denied charges of asking the police to thrash students. A staff member privy to the meetings followed by the incident quoted the VC as saying that some third force had acted to create misunderstandings between the administration and students.
On the other hand, the police took the plea that they were asked by the university administration to ‘teach a lesson’ to the protesting students.
A student, who requested anonymity, said, “I jumped from the third floor of the hostel in panic when five policemen who were beating students ran towards me. The police broke the window pans and harassed the students who were preparing for their exams inside the hostels.”
This correspondent learnt that the governor had been handed over the CD of police baton charge and tear gas shelling on the students by a delegation of lawyers from Kohat, which called on him on Monday.
Another delegation, headed by Kohat ANP president Inayatullah met with the chief minister and informed him about the grievances of the students.
Both the delegations demanded immediate transfer of the vice chancellor, saying that his conduct had become controversial amidst allegations of spreading ethnic hatred in the institution.
Several students said that they had been protesting against loadshedding, shortage of accommodation and drinking water for the last so many months despite regular hike in fee.
Meanwhile, the vice chancellor declared holidays from June 29 and abruptly cancelled the summer classes this year through a notification issued on Tuesday. When contacted, some university officials said that they were surprised at the orders and alleged that the VC was trying to hamper the investigations into the incident by closing down the university.