25 injured in Karachi university clash
* APMSO, IJT blame each other for violence
By Tanveer Sher
KARACHI: At least 25 students, teachers, journalists and others were injured at Karachi University (KU) on Monday in clashes between supporters of the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO) and the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT).
The Rangers arrived at the scene half and hour late and resorted to a baton charge injuring several students, teachers and journalists. Witnesses said tensions had been building between the two groups for the past many days, but the Rangers did not attempt to avert the situation.
At about 8:30am on Monday, a scuffle broke out between students at a bus stop that later led to the beating up of two chemistry department students. At about 1:00pm supporters from both sides fought for about 15 minutes. Scores of students from both sides were injured. The Rangers deployed on campus responded late, tried to snatch an Urdu daily photographer’s camera and baton charged some People’s Students Federation (PSF) students who had nothing to do with the clash.
When the three injured PSF students went to KU Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Pirzada Qasim’s office to protest, Rangers Captain Khalid abused them in front of the VC and teachers. KU Teachers Society President Sarwar Naseem managed to calm the captain down.
When Dr Qasim was asked why the clashes could not be prevented, he said several efforts were made to defuse the situation, but they had failed. Condemning the baton charge, the VC said he had nothing to do with the Rangers’ aggressive behaviour, but they acted to restore order at the university.
The APMSO and IJT blamed each other for inciting violence at KU and Federal Urdu University of Science, Arts and Technology.
Speaking at Karachi Press Club, KU acting IJT Nazim Syed Tahir Akbar and Karachi IJT General Secretary Shoaib Ahmed accused the APMSO of terrorising IJT activists in the presence of the Rangers and police.
AMPSO Chairman Faisal Sabzwari claimed at another conference at Karachi Press Club that the IJT was being patronised by the Rangers deployed at KU and Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology and IJT students often terrorised APMSO activists.