Punjab University reopens after four days, students clash again

LAHORE: University of the Punjab (PU) reopened on Monday after it remained closed for four days following a clash between two student groups, however the situation inside the campus remained tense.

According to the university spokesman three students of the sociology department were not allowed to take their exam by a rival student group. Another clash erupted and police was called to contain the situation. The students were asked to return home to prevent the situation from deteriorating, and their exams will be taken at a later date, the vice chancellor Dr Zaffar Mueen said.

Earlier during the day, a brief period of normalcy returned to the university. PU’s vice chancellor is scheduled to meet the department heads for all faculties, sources told the media.

Baloch-Pakhtun council’s media advisor Adil Zaman said students will only attend classes once reservations of the group are addressed.

“We have not reconciled with the other student group,” Zaman said. He alleged that bogus cases were filed against members of the Baloch-Pakhtun council.

In a statement, a university representative said political activities are banned in the university. “The police will remain posted on the university premises,” he said.

Earlier on March 21, at least 18 students were left wounded due to a clash between two rival student groups in Punjab University, prompting authorities to call in police to help control the situation.

Television footage showed an unconscious student being whisked away by his friends.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah put the responsibility of the clash on Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) activists. He said that 18 out of 22 arrested students involved in brawl belonged to the IJT.

The IJT, on the other hand, said its camp first came under attack by the rival group.

Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and summoned a report. The chief minister stressed that action would be taken against those responsible and no one was above the law.

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