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Punjab University firing incident

PU incident culprits still on campus
Lahore, DEC 16: The Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists who allegedly fired at a group of Punjab University (PU) students, are still residing in PU hostels, said PU students on Monday.

On December 2, the IJT allegedly opened fired at a group of students from the University Students Federation (USF), and injured nine people, of which two were seriously wounded. Governor Salmaan Taseer visited the injured students at the Jinnah Hospital and ordered the inspector general and PU Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran to take action against the IJT.

On December 5, after the Friday prayers, students from the Insaf Students Federation (ISF) gathered in front of the PU central mosque and shouted slogans against the instigators of the violence. The protesters demanded the government eradicate all such terrorist elements from the PU and arrest those responsible. However, during the protest, several IJT activists entered the protest and started shouting their own traditional slogans. Dozens of university security guards were reportedly present on the occasion, but they did not take any action.

FIR: According to a first information report (FIR) registered with the Muslim Town police, IJT activists Hafiz Farhan, Riaz Ashraf, Ansar Shoaib, Usman, Ramzan, Sajid and Qasim Gujjar had fired at the USF students. PU Registrar Dr Naeem Ahmed Khan said an FIR had been registered against the accused and the police should arrest them. USF President Atif Naeem Ranjha said the IJT activists who opened fired on students were still residing in the PU hostels. PU student Amir Jalal said they had contacted the PU administration and the police regarding the IJT activists' presence on campus, but to no avail. Another student said that main culprits behind the firing incident Sabir Shah and Ansar were seen on the campus several times.

Police: Muslim Town police Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Muhammad Tariq said the FIR had been registered against five students, but they got an interim bail until December 20.

PU IJT General Secretary Hamadullah said none of IJT activists had been arrested. Separately, the Muslim Town police have allegedly detained PU Professor Dr Nasir Ahmad to question him about the whereabouts of his son-in-law, an IJT activist, who is accused of involvement in a shooting incident. Daily Times

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Punjab University teachers' bodies play blame game: Professor's interrogation
Lahore: Two associations representing Punjab University teachers have entered into a blame-game following police's visit to the official residence of director of Institute of Geology and his consequent escort to a police station for interrogation about his son-in-law's involvement in the Dec 3 firing at university hostels.

Leaders of the Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) executive committee and the Punjab University Teachers Front (PUTF), a rival group in the association elections, on Monday addressed separate press conferences at the Lahore Press Club. The PUASA office-bearers claimed that the PU administration was fully involved in letting police humiliate the senior professor, while of the PUTF criticised the former for distorting facts for securing political mileage in the upcoming elections.

PUASA president Dr Mumtaz Salik flanked by secretary-general Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar, vice-president Dr Akhtar Saleemi and joint-secretary Muhammad Sajid said the police raid at the residence Prof Dr Naseer Ahmad and his subsequent detention at the police station for hours had sent a wave of restlessness among teachers.

Saying the incident had tarnished the glorious 130-year PU history, Dr Salik alleged that the university administration, being complainant, had "manoeuvred" police raid at Prof Naseer's residence and his five-hour detention. "This action was taken on the permission of vice-chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, resident officer Prof Dr Bashir Ahmad and estate officer Abdul Shakoor," he added.

He said teachers had always resisted police and other forces' interference on campuses and no university administration had ever dared handing over campus to police even in dictatorial regimes.

"The PUASA believes that the incumbent VC is using indecent tactics against teachers to fulfill his nefarious designs," he said and added that the incident had also left teachers and their families feeling insecure on the campus.

Dr Salik said the PU administration had also humiliated teachers to satisfy its ego. He said the administration victimised psychology department chairperson and forced retirement of five teachers of Centre for High Energy Physics and the Punjab University Law College (PULC) principal in-charge. He said the association had always recorded its protest against all such moves leading to teachers' humiliation.

Dr Salik also alleged that the present administration was violating merit and posted its favourites against different lucrative posts, including hostels superintendents and wardens, as well as granting higher grade privileges to certain junior teachers after ignoring seniors.

Holding the VC responsible for the police action against Prof Naseer, PUASA office-bearers demanded that Prof Kamran should immediately resign from his office.

Dr Salik said the executive committee had called PUASA general body meeting at the Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology on Dec 18 to plan future strategy to handle the issue.

Speaking at a separate news conference, PUTF leaders said the PUASA president and general-secretary were distorting facts to gain political mileage in the upcoming elections as well as protecting Islami Jamiat Tulaba's `criminal' activities.Prof Dr Saeed Ahmad Nagra, Prof Dr Shaukat Ali, Prof Dr Bashir Ahmad and Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir said the PUASA president and his associates had soft corner for the IJT and they always protected its activists even for their open wrongdoings.

Prof Nagra, who is also Hall Council chairman, said an expelled student had thrown chairs on university teachers in front of the VC and had his leg fractured while climbing over an Old Campus wall.

Instead of condemning this act of IJT activist against senior university teachers, he said, Jamaat-i-Islami leaders, who also backed incumbent PUASA body, visited the injured student and demanded judicial inquiry into the incident.

On the other hand, he said, none of the PUASA or JI leader visited two students of PULC, who were shot at and injured by IJT activists one of whom was the son-in-law of Prof Naseer.

Saying that the PUASA did not even issue a condemnation, Prof Nagra said it instead requisitioned the general body meeting of the association. Prof Nagra said the PUASA leaders were making it an issue in the name of teachers' respect and sanctity to cover up the shooting case.

Prof Shaukat said the PUASA was never a representative body of all university teachers and it must refrain from becoming a representative of a student's organisation.The PUTF leaders said that the university administration would itself protect the respect of Prof Naseer, if any illegal action was taken against him.

They, however, asked Prof Naseer to stop his near and dear ones from indulging in criminal activities and rather use his influence to identify those who shot at innocent students.

Prof Bashir said the police were looking for the whereabouts of Dec 3 firing nominated accused Hafiz Farhan, the son-in-law of Prof Naseer. He said the nature of the case was highly sensitive and the law-enforcing authorities had their full jurisdiction to investigate and arrest those who were nominated in the FIR lodged by the victim. "The university authorities and he (Prof Bashir) himself have no involvement whatsoever in the case," he said.

Prof Bashir, who is RO-I, said that Prof Naseer neither informed nor sought any help from the university authorities. He, however, said the university authorities would definitely like that the culprits were arrested and brought to book. Dawn

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King Edward Medical University (KEMU) Ist convocation on December 25
Lahore: The first convocation of King Edward Medical University (KEMU) Lahore is scheduled to be held on December 25, 2008. A KEMU spokesman in a press release here on Monday said Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafarullah Khan would present report of the university on the occasion. He said the MBBS, MS, MD and PhD students, who had qualified from the university would be awarded degrees and the position holders would be given medals.

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Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management, Peshawar admission date changed Peshawar: The centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management Monday rescheduled the admission date for one-year postgraduate diploma and set December 18 for interviews. The candidates would be interviewed at the Department of Geography, UoP, added the communication. The News

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