Report by Aneeqa Sikander
Karachi: Students at Karachi’s Dadabhoy University threaten to go on hunger strike if demands not met.
Students from Dadabhoy University, Karachi have threatened to go on a hunger strike if their demands are not met. Hundreds of students sit outside the campus gate protesting the two year rustication of student and activist, Babar Ali Jatoi, on trumped up allegations of disrespectful behaviour by the university administration.
Jatoi is a student of Law at Dadabhoy University, Karachi. A student, while talking to The Students’ Herald, shared that the incident happened after Jatoi led a demonstration along with other students against policies of the administration, which barred 26 students from entering the examination hall due to a technical glitch. He was also planning on organising students against the unjust spike in fee against the backdrop of economic crisis. Jatoi had asked some tough questions and was consequently branded ‘disrespectful’ by the administration. It was also alleged that he had personally threatened a female teacher. The allegation proved baseless when upon further inquiry it was revealed that Jatoi had ‘threatened’ to protest – a right guaranteed under the constitution.
The university administration, students alleged, has stooped to the lowest by suspending a student for raising critical questions. They further disclosed that the administration has failed to cooperate with them in resolving the matter, and has been continuously dismissing the issue with their non serious attitude. They recounted a previous incident where harassment from the administration had pushed a student to the verge of suicide.
Students argue that their future and education is put on stake due to the stifled environment at campus and have demanded that Jatoi’s suspension orders be immediately revoked, otherwise they will go on a hunger strike indefinitely. Furthermore, they have given the call for a protest on Monday at the Institute. Salient demands include readmission of the aforementioned student as well as the disqualification of faculty members found complicit in the process.
Kainat Ansari, Cheif Organiser PSC FUUAST, who is among the protesting students, remarked that Jatoi has been the latest victim of the anti-students policy of the administration. She said that institutes hold disproportionately large power over students who are rusticated or suspended if they dare challenge these policies. She asserted that neither the fee hike nor the termination of students’ education would be tolerated and it is time that the adminstration realized the shifting dynamics.