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Pakistan: activists of the youth wing of Jamaat-e-Islami strike terror at Punjab university - statement by HRCP

by HRCP, 28 June 2011

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Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)

Press release

HRCP slams violence by hooligans at PU

Lahore, June 27, 2011: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed alarm at torture against students of Punjab University’s Philosophy Department by armed activists allegedly belonging to Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) early on Sunday, which left seven students injured.

A statement issued by HRCP on Monday said: “The Commission notes with concern the intimidation and harassment of students and teachers at the Punjab University Philosophy Department by activists allegedly belonging to IJT. Over two dozen young men, at least five of them carrying firearms and the rest armed with rods and sticks, attacked Hostel number 7 of the university and dragged students of the Philosophy Department out of their rooms and severely beat them up. At least seven students were injured
and two had to be hospitalised, including one who was thrown down from the first floor. A vice-superintendent of the hostel, who was held at gunpoint throughout the over one hour long attack, and a guard were also injured. Despite calls to the police emergency number, police personnel did not arrive at the scene. HRCP has serious concerns over a pattern of violence and intimidation against teachers and students for which IJT has been blamed. It recalls that last Friday faculty and students of the Philosophy Department had held a protest against violence by IJT activists. IJT activists had tried to disrupt that protest and had beaten up university guards. Female students and teachers were also abused and threatened.

HRCP is also alarmed by the display of weapons at the university and apprehends that unless those responsible are held and tried for the crime the students might start thinking that the only way for them to protect themselves against attacks by hooligans is by acquiring weapons
themselves.

HRCP calls upon the university administration and the Punjab government to take stern action to ensure that such lawlessness and hooliganism in one of the country’s biggest universities does not go unpunished. The authorities are urged to make every effort to bring to account those responsible for the attack on the university hostel in order to deter future recourse to violence. It is also time the Jamaat-e-Islami took serious note of the activities of its student wing.”

Zohra Yusuf
- Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan