23 Ahmadi students ‘expelled’ for preaching religion: ‘Students currently suspended, may return if proved innocent’
* PMC principal says word ‘rustication’ used in notice to calm anti-Ahmadi students
* Health additional secretary says clerics will no longer be allowed in medical colleges
By Abdul Manan
LAHORE: The Punjab Medical College (PMC), Faisalabad, through a notification issued on June 6, rusticated twenty-three medical students belonging to the Ahmadi sect for distributing hate material in the college. The rustication was reported in various sections of newspapers on Friday, but a formal notice was issued later that day.
PMC Principal Asghar Ali Randhawa told Daily Times that he had rusticated the students on the report of the disciplinary committee. He said that he had formed another committee to probe into the issue, and would accommodate the Ahmadi students if the committee found them innocent. Asked if the rustication was a clear message to Ahmadi students were no longer welcome in the college, he said that the students had been suspended, and the word rustication had been used to cool down the students who did not want Ahmadis in the college.
He said that the issue of Ahmadis was one of the most provocative in the world, and his first preference would be to save the lives of Ahmadi students. He said that people found guilty would be punished. He said that the administration would negotiate with both the groups to find a solution to the problem. He was hopeful that rusticated students would be allowed in the college after college vacations. According to the notification, the students, 15 girls and eight boys, were in their different years of MBBS. Five of the students were in their first year (4 girls, 1 boy), six in second year (4 girls, 2 boys), seven in third year (3 girls, 4 boys), one boy in fourth year and four girls in final year.
No entry for clerics: Health Additional Secretary Saeed Nawaz told Daily Times that a meeting would be held with the PMC principal on the issue. He said that the department was sympathetic to Ahmadi students. He said that local cleric should not address students in college mosques. He said that the department would soon set up an inquiry committee to probe the entire incident. He said that the department would direct all the medical colleges across the province – through a letter – not to invite any cleric at any medical college mosque.
Preaching against Ahmadis: Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan Rabwah spokesman Saleemuddin alleged that the PMC hostel boarders and wardens launched a campaign against female Ahmadi students last month.
He alleged that some of the boarders brought four of the Ahmadi students out of their rooms in the midnight of June 4, and locked them in another room, where they were beaten up. He alleged that local cleric Allama Junaid, invited to the college mosque to give a sermon on the same night, instigated students against Ahmadis.
He alleged that the boarders, with the consent of hostel wardens, forced 15 students – 11 girls and five boys –to leave the hostels at 4am on June 4. He alleged that on June 5, a mob of 300 college students had barged into Ahmadi students’ rooms, beat them and threw their luggage out of their rooms. He alleged that the boarders also stole valuables of Ahmadi students. He said that the PMC principal had also ordered the Ahmadi students to return home till the matter cooled down.
He said that the principal had also formed a disciplinary committee to probe into the matter, which, the spokesman alleged, gave its verdict to boot out 23 students without investigating the case. “The committee claimed to have rusticated the student under Rule iii, Clause-V, of the college prospectus,” he said.