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Karachi University bloody clash between IJT & ISO

Battlefield Karachi University; 10 injured
Karachi, April 21: Karachi University (KU) has become a battlefield on Monday, as the accidental death issue of a NED girl student turned into a bloody clash, erupted between the activists of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) and Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), which injured 7 students and 3 Rangers personnel. Rangers arrested 6 students during the clash while one of them was nabbed with weapon being used in the clash. Responding to the gunshot from a student, rangers resorted to aerial firing to control the law and order situation in the KU.

The clash suspended the routine classes and students promptly left the campus that was presenting a deserted look just after the clash.

According to details gathered, the first phase of the clash was erupted at 10:30pm at KU bus-point terminal when the activists of IJT and ISO had exchanged hot words on the punishment issue of KU bus driver, Yawar, who had crushed the NED girl student, Faiza Nadeem Zaidi, to death near the KU Silver Jubilee Gate, on April 18, 2009.

The second phase of the clash was erupted in front of the KU Vice Chancellor office (Admin Block), where the activists of the said students' groups collided with iron and wooden rods and pelted stones on each other that had left 7 students and 3 Rangers personnel injured.

According to KU Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Akhlaq Ahmed, about 4 students out of 7 injured received head injuries. Talking to reporters at KU VC Office, he confirmed that one student had been nabbed, who was using weapon in the clash. To a query about the weapon usage by the Rangers in the KU, he said that the Rangers had full authority to enforce law and order in the campus.

KU Campus Officer Dr Khalid Iraqi said that Rangers arrested one student from the KU arts lobby who was using weapon freely during the clash. "The injured students were sent to the KU dispensary where some miscreants gathered to collide but timely intervention of Rangers dispersed them. The clash was started on minor harsh wordings between the activists of both the students' groups at the bus terminal. However, the clash was the extension of the NED girl student's accident." Dr Iraqi said that leaders of both the students' parties had settled down the dispute and compromised after 5-6 hours of the clash.

Rangers spokesman Major Aurangzeb said that Rangers had nabbed 6 miscreants, including one with weapon, while investigation was being carried out as per rules. After the completion of the investigation they will be handed over to the concerned police station, he said.

Conversely, KU Students' Advisor Prof Dr Tanveer Khalid, in a statement issued the same day, has claimed that the law and order situation in the KU campus came under control after the action taken by Rangers, who avoided the escalation of the matter which could have resulted in a major causality.

Poor transport system exposes Varsity's negligence
Karachi: Defective transport system of the two largest public universities of the country, Karachi University (KU) and NED University, have once again been exposed after the horrible accident of NED girl student which occurred near the KU Silver Jubilee Gate on April 18, 2009.

Conversely, KU has constituted a three-member inquiry committee, comprising of Prof Dr Abuzar Wajidi as convenor, Prof Dr Waseemuddin Ahmed and Prof Dr Tanvir Khalid to probe into the incident and furnish a report immediately.

Teachers' community has expressed their grief over the demise of the victim, Faiza Nadeem Zaidi, lived in Ghazi Town, Malir, and strongly criticised over the shortage of busses, causing fatal accidents of students in different span of time.

On the contrary, students have already staged protest in front of NED University to condemn the accidental death of the NED girl student. It is pertinent to mention here that the lack of sufficient transport facilities has once again surfaced at the campus, as only 25 point-buses out of 32 are available at the campus to provide transport facility to over 25,000 students of the university, who come to the campus from various parts of the City.

There are 6,000 students studying at the NED University, while there are only 14 buses to cater the transport need of such huge students' quantity. It is worth mentioning that KU has suffered a deficit of Rs2 million to run the transport system for the students, while students did not cooperate with the administration as 50 per cent of students travelled with the KU point-buses without tickets of worth Rs3. Prof Abid Hussnain, a leader of Karachi University Teachers' Society (KUTS), said that this accident was not new for them. Such type of terrible accidents had become the feature of our substandard KU transport system, which was in short of buses. He said that the criminal negligence of KU drivers could not be ignored, saying that KU administration was required to have more buses to protect the students from such fatal accidents.

A KU student, Zahid, said, "Precious lives of several students, belonging to both the varsities, have been lost due to over crowded point-buses of the varsities during the last one and two decades. But the basic right of the students (transportation facility) has never been heeded by the authorities concerned."

On the other hand, Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Dr M Shamsuddin, deans of the faculties, Registrar Prof Muhammad Rais Alvi, advisors and other administrative staff have expressed their deep sorrow over the demise of Faiza Nadeem Zaidi. They have also condoled with her parents, teachers and friends and prayed for the departed soul for eternal peace and offered Fateha.

According to KU statement issued on Sunday, the administration has stressed that the actions are being initiated to prevent this type of fatal incidents.

Students to raise funds for transport
Leaders of Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), at a Press conference held at Karachi Press Club on Sunday, has announced that ISO will start fund-raising campaign to purchase buses for both the universities including Karachi University and NED University.

Students will contact the philanthropists, MNA, MPAs, politicians and bureaucrats to acquire their moral and financial support to fulfil the goal. They strongly condemned the apathetic behaviour of the KU and NED administration towards the issue. Criminal negligence of the KU and NED administrations has devoured the lives of another student. "The defective transport system of both the varsities are actually not used by the children of higher ups of both the varsities, hence they did not consider the students' major problem." The Nation

Faiza Nadeem Zaidi was the only daughter of Faraz Zaidi
Karachi: A girl student of the NED University of Engineering and Technology was crushed to death by a Karachi University bus near the KU's Silver Jubilee Gate on Saturday morning.

Faiza Nadeem Zaidi was the only daughter of Faraz Zaidi, a resident of Ghazi Town, Malir.

The driver, Yawar, was arrested and an FIR (145/9) was registered against him by the Mobina Town police on behalf of the state under Section 320 (punishment for manslaughter by rash driving) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Faiza was a 2nd-year student of the department of computer information systems at the NED university. The accident took place when she was getting off the bus.

Eyewitnesses said the driver did not stop the bus at the NED university and the girl was eager to get off and walk back to her university, which had been left far behind. As she tumbled down the footboard and fell on the road, another KU bus coming from behind crushed her. Both drivers off-loaded the students and sped away. There was no intervention from the Rangers posted at the Silver Jubilee gate.

The students who gathered at the spot immediately took the injured student to a private hospital located at Nipa Chowrangi. However, the doctors at the hospital refused to treat her, saying that accident cases were not entertained at the hospital. Upon hearing this, the students took the injured girl to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival.

Later, a number of NED students staged a sit-in in front of the university's main gate and then marched up to the KU's Silver Jubilee gate. They were demanding the immediate arrest of the erring driver and an increase in the number of KU buses.

Though the student protest was peaceful and no class boycott was announced by any group to protest the girl's death, no KU bus was available in the afternoon and students had to walk all the way from their departments and institutes to the gate.

Prof Dr Zulqarnain Shadab, adviser to the vice-chancellor on transport, said the police would determine the extent of the driver's negligence. "It is premature to talk about the driver's negligence. The suspect is in police custody and the matter would be thoroughly investigated."

About the shortage of buses, he said the university lacked funds for the purpose and any donation in this regard would be welcome.

Asked why the university never approached the Higher Education Commission on the issue, he said: "I have been on this post since 2007 and when I took over, the HEC had already started reducing its grants to universities. I have submitted proposals in writing to the university administration for improvement in the transport system, but the response was not encouraging as a shortage of funds was mentioned as the roadblock.

"Karachi is home to many rich people who can help resolve this issue affecting thousands of students. A series of communication is under way with private concerns in this regard," he added.

The issue of rash driving and lack of adequate transport was also taken up by the Karachi University Teachers Society in December last year on the complaint of a teacher. However, no positive response was received from the administration.

No NED university official was available for comment.

The adjoining KU and NED universities, situated on the same road and playing host to thousands of students, lack an efficient transport system. Most NED students travel in KU buses as the engineering university runs fewer buses for its students.

Though overloaded university buses have remained a major source of inconvenience to students and have also caused injuries and deaths in the past, no significant step has ever been taken by these universities to resolve the issue on a permanent basis. At present, the KU runs 27 buses for over 25,000 students and the NED has 13 buses for 6,000 students. Both universities have secured funding of billions of rupees from the HEC in recent years for different projects, but no step has been taken to improve the transport facility for the students.

The university spread over 1,250 acres has expanded greatly over the years. Today, it has 53 departments and around 14 institutes and classes are held in both morning and evening shifts. In the morning, no shuttle service is available after 10am due to which not only students, but visitors who come to the university for different purposes have to face a lot of inconvenience in reaching their relevant departments. To cash in on this situation, the university has allowed a few rickshaws to operate in the university and reap undue profits. Dawn


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