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23 January 2020

3-Day long Strike at QAU, Islamabad ends. Expelled students Restored

Islamabad— On Wednesday evening, the 3-day long strike at QAU, Islamabad ended when the administration assured the students of issuing a notification to restore the expelled students. The Administration also promised to establish a committee that will negotiate other demands of the students.

This protest here went intense when hundreds of police raided the Students’ Camp at about 4 A.M early in the morning— apparently to restore the bus service that the students were hurdling. About 60 to 70 students were in the overnight camp in front of the University Shuttle Service when the police barged into the camps.

Students claimed that Police was acting violently and about 9 students were arrested without any charge. The police, however, backed off when a large number of students from the hostels arrived at the rescue of the Camping Students. Student continuously chanted slogans against University administration and Police.

 “Ye ghunda-gardi, nahei chalay gi, ye police-gardi nahei chalay gi, Zulm k zabatay, hum nahei mantay”Students were shouting.

On Sunday evening, many student leaders under the supervision of Chairmen of the provincial councils—who were earlier expelled by the University Disciplinary Committee— advised their fellows to boycott the classes and continue the hunger-strike untill their demands are fulfilled. The University, thus, remained closed for three consecutive days.

Earlier the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Masoom Yasinzai had, through media interviews, had attempted to intimidate the students that he would use police force to quash the protests.  That, however, ended in smoke during the Police confrontation on Wednesday.

Later at 12 pm, on that day, VC of the university went to the students and asked them to form a select group and see the administration to solve the issue amicably. Chairmen of the councils along with their female fellows met the administration and presented their demands. After negotiations for an hour, the students moved back and told their fellows about the nullification of the show-causes and the expulsion notices. Meanwhile, the Police released the arrested students and the protest ended.

It’s to be mentioned here that QAU students started protest in April when their collective demands including better Mess system, increase of shuttle services, introduction of scholarships and other academic and administrative reforms.

Taking to a news-channel the VC said that they [The University Administration] have shown leniency to save the academic year of the students. “They are like my own Kids and I would never take it into confrontation and I believe peaceful protest is the right of the students.” He said.

Naveed Hussain has contributed to this story from Islamabad, Pakistan
Photo Credits: 
Naveed Hussain © 2012