Author Topic: Shia students not allowed as boarders?  (Read 1653 times)

Offline iram

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Shia students not allowed as boarders?
« on: May 19, 2008, 05:35:57 PM »
Shia students not allowed as boarders?

Lahore: Some teachers and administrative officials of the Punjab University (PU) have reportedly been discriminating among students on religious and political grounds, students said.

A PU spokesperson said that the university vice-chancellor (VC) had received an application titled 'Kya Shia hona Jurm Hay' (Is being Shia a crime?) on Friday from Muhammad Ahsan, a student of PU Administrative Sciences Department. He said that the student had complained that the hostel administration was not accommodating him because he was Shia. He said that the student had requested the PU VC to take note of the incident and save the future of students belonging to 'other' sects and religions.

Muhammad Ahsan, who claimed to be the University Students Federation (USF) media secretary, said that the pro-Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) hostel administration was not giving him a room in the hostels. He claimed that he had applied for a room in PU Hostel-17 around 15 days ago, but the administration was not willing to accommodate him. He alleged that hostel clerk Muhammad Shahid told him on Monday that he was not being given a room because he was a Shia. "The clerk told me that the administration does not allot rooms to Shia students," he alleged.

He then approached PU Hall Council Secretary Muhammad Akram, and was allegedly told to hide his identity to get the room. He claimed that PU Hostels -1, -9, -16 and -17 were the headquarters of pro-IJT teachers.

Muhammad Shahid, the hostel clerk, refused to comment on the issue and said that if any student had a problem, he should contact the hostel superintendent.

At daggers drawn: Tahir Khan, a PU student, said that the religious extremism had always been a serious issue at the university. He said that four PU IJT activists were killed in 1994 when some IJT activists had tried to stop Shia students from holding majalis (religious gatherings), which was the beginning of the never-ending conflict between the two groups. He said that hatred for one another had increased at the PU after the revival of student unions.

Haroon Ahmed, another student, alleged that teachers were playing an important role in fanning religious extremism, as most of the department heads and hostel wardens were pro-IJT. He alleged that those teachers had distributed PU funds and scholarships among IJT activists in the past, and had deprived a number of deserving students of their rights.

Doing students' work: A PU teacher said that after the resumption of political activities at the PU, most of the teachers had split students into several groups on the basis of religious beliefs. He said that students were so disturbed due to the extremist policies of the IJT that they were gathering under the banner of USF. He said that due to the students' movement against the Jamiat, IJT activists were not countering such students, and the pro-IJT teachers and clerks were taking care of the matter.

PU Hall Council Secretary Muhammad Akram said that the problem at Hostel-17 was over offering prayers, as it was the centre of Shia students.

PU Public Relations Officer Shabbir Sarwar said that he knew about the application, and that according to the university rules, students would not be treated on the basis of religion and creed. He said that action would be taken against elements damaging the repute and peace of the university.

PU Chairman Hall Council Dr Saeed Ahmed Nagra said, "The university provides equal opportunities and facilities to all its students without any discrimination," he said. He said that the administration would hold an inquiry on Monday to find out facts behind the incident and the people responsible.
 Daily Times