KEMU students await justice after harassement incident on campus

Lahore (Syed Basit Ali): Tension is brewing among female students at King Edward Medical University (KEMU) since an employee was caught filming a video of a first-year MBBS student in the restroom.

The victim apprehended the suspect and confiscated his mobile phone as evidence, discovering objectionable clips on it.

The incident took place at the Maqbool Block of KEMU, where approximately 700 female students are enrolled.

Allegedly, the university administration tried to cover up the matter upon being informed. Frustrated with the lack of action from the officials, the victim informed her parents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Her parents arrived at the university on Monday and expressed their anger towards the administration for failing to ensure privacy, safety, and protection for the girls.

They also threatened to file a complaint against the higher authorities of KEMU, holding them accountable for this highly objectionable crime, especially since it was revealed that the suspect was an employee of the university. The parents were shocked to see the administration attempting to protect the suspect by concealing the matter, according to official reports.

The incident caused strong resentment and unrest among the female students, who feared that the suspect may have filmed objectionable videos of other students as well, suspecting the existence of a larger network behind the crime, as claimed in Dawn.

There are five shared restrooms for the female students, with sufficient space at the top allowing access to adjacent restrooms, making it possible for anyone to enter and record videos using their mobile phones. The same occurred in this case, as the male suspect entered an adjoining restroom and recorded videos of the girl.

It has been reported that MBBS students had previously complained multiple times to the KEMU administration about the suspicious presence of male staff and “strangers” in the restrooms designated for female students, but their concerns were disregarded.

KEMU Vice Chancellor Prof Mahmood Ayaz, in conversation with a journalist, acknowledged that the university had taken note of the incident and was in contact with the victim’s family. The suspect responsible for the crime has been handed over to the police.

Feminist Students Collective (FSC), a sub organisation of Progressive Students’Collective, has released a statement condemning this disturbing incident of human rights and privacy violation. The presser released by FSC stated that ‘…it is deeply disturbing that the incident took place inside the premises of an educational institution.’ They demand swift investigation into the matter and stress the importance of creating safe and inclusive environment for female students in higher educational institutes.