Students of Balochistan University continue protests against campus harassment

Quetta, Pakistan Updated: Oct 18, 2019, 02:28 PM IST
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File photo. Photograph:(Reuters)

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The protesting students marched through the campus to put pressure on the officials to take action against the culprits.

Several student organisations under the banner of Students Educational Alliance on Thursday continued their protests for the fourth consecutive day over alleged harassment and blackmail of students by some officials of Balochistan University.

The demonstrators, who staged their protest outside the Quetta Press Club, alleged that the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Balochistan (UoB) was responsible for the entire scandal as VC was the `head of blackmailers and saviour of the culprits`, reported Express Tribune.

The protesting students marched through the campus to put pressure on the officials to take action against the culprits.

Earlier on Wednesday, Professor Dr Kaleem Ullah Barech, representing the Academic Staff Association, while addressing a press conference, said: "The association has raised its voice against varsity administration, including its financial and ethical corruption, for last several years."

The scandal came to light about a month ago after the Balochistan High Court (BHC) directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate the reports of students being harassed at the varsity.

Later, FIA discovered that both male and female students were being blackmailed by some staff members through some `objectionable` videos, recorded through CCTV cameras hidden at various spots on the campus including washrooms.

Balochistan Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai, who is also the chancellor of all provincial universities, on Thursday vowed to take strict action against those involved in the case."Whosoever found involved in demoralising educational structure in Balochistan will be brought to justice because the UoB`s scandal has triggered anger in society," the Governor said.

Urging the student organisations and teacher associations to refrain from provoking the society until completion of the FIA probe, he said: "The hooligans who harassed and blackmailed students would be dealt with strictly and punished for maligning the mother educational institution of Balochistan."

Condemning the scandal, Balochistan National Party's (BNP) Lashkari Raisani asked the Vice-Chancellor to resign. He also noted that the scandal had shaken the students` trust in educational institutions.

Taking cognizance, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has placed the issue on the agenda of VC`s meeting to be held on October 21.

"The meeting will discuss existing regulations that address such acts as well as additional measures that might be needed to make university campuses safe and secure places. The university heads will also discuss the funding issues of the higher learning institutions," HEC said in a press release.