Report by Aneeqa Sikandar
Karachi: It has been reported that a peaceful protest at Dawood University, Karachi which was being held against the recent fee hikes, was disrupted violently by Rangers.
Mubashir Ali, the protest leader, told The Students’ Herald that while the protest was to start at 12 in the afternoon, Rangers had been present on the premises since morning.
While the administration assured hearing the protesters’ demands and that a resolution to be reached at in half an hour, instead, Rangers were given full control of the situation, who started baton charging protesters, threatening them and confiscating their CNIC’s.
Around 20 protesters were detained from the premises by the Rangers, only being released later at night after the administration was pressurised and forced to do so.
Ali told Herald that this has been a tradition with the university, as students have been baton charged before and Rangers are often employed to keep protests in check, while many students have been suspended. Moreover, he said the Rangers have taken up permanent residence at the university hostels, where they have a special wing allotted to them.
Students at Dawood University are now tired of these repressive tactics used by the university administration to hide behind, and refuse to keep quiet any longer.
General Secretary Progressive Students’Collective, Virsa Pirzado, condemned the gruesome violation of the fundamental right of students to protest. “This has been an ongoing trend – unleashing brute forces against unarmed students whenever they stand up to administrative mismanagements and ill practices. Students have been fundamentally stripped off their right to assemble and demand what is owed to them.” She further remarked that only a radical politicisation within the student body can put an end to systematic violence against students, guaranteeing them the power to be involved in the decision making process inside campuses.