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IJT shaken but not stirred, vows to hold book fair

IJT shaken but not stirred by police presence
Lahore, May 13, 2008: Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) workers held a press conference inside the Punjab University on Monday despite a strong contingent of police deployed a day before to vacate the university.

The university was closed on Sunday for four days to stop the IJT from holding its annual book fair, which was to start from today (Tuesday). All boarders, expect foreign students, were asked to leave and about 400 policemen were deployed for this purpose. However, the police could not completely vacate the university and could force only non-political students to leave hostels. PU students and teachers denounced the administration's decision to close the university.

A notice was sent to all hostel wardens and superintendents to vacate hostels until 8am of Monday morning. However, the administration could only evict non-political students. IJT activists were still in the hostels and the IJT office in hostel number 1 where the press conference was held also remained opened.

Raheel, a PU student, said that he was from Abbottabad and had to leave for home because he had no other place to live here. He said IJT workers were still in the hostels. He said it was quite difficult for the students who had come form areas like Gilgit or NWFP to go back only for four days.

PU Public Relations Officer Shabir Sarwar said the administration was aware that IJT activists were holding a press conference, but it did not want to use force to stop them. "However, a list of these students have been prepared and action will be taken against them," he said. PU Hall Council Chairman Dr Saeed Ahmed Nagra said that some students had been allowed to stay in hostels because examinations were being held in several departments.

IJT Press Conference: PU IJT Nazim Rana Zahid in the press conference said that the book fair would now be held on May 16. He criticised the PU administration for closing the university. He said the IJT had asked the administration for permission, which it denied. He said that if the role of the IJT was an issue then a committee should have been formed to hold the book fair.

USF condemns IJT: Activists of the University Students Federation (USF) denounced the IJT, saying that the university had been closed because of its activities.

According to a press release issued by the USF on Monday, the book fair and computer exhibition of the IJT was planned to cause panic in the university so that student union elections could be cancelled. Daily Times



Punjab University offices open
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) administration says all teaching departments and administrative offices of the university will remain open and directed that all university employees should continue performing their duty.

PU Registrar Prof Muhammad Naeem Khan said the university had only suspended academic activities for four days.



IJT vows to hold book fair
Lahore: The Islami Jamiat Tulaba (IJT) has condemned the Punjab University administration for what it called forced closure of the varsity, and announced that it will organise its three-day book fair at any cost as soon as the campus reopens.

IJT's PU Nazim Zahid Naveed said at a news conference at the Student Teacher Centre (STC) on Monday the university administration was now getting all hostels vacated, but Jamiat activists would face the move by staying on the campus.

He demanded the PU administration should immediately reopen the varsity and revive academic activities on the campus. He said the university administration had no right to waste almost a week of over 31,000 students.

He said the fair was a positive and healthy activity aimed at helping the students get books on discounted rates and had become an important academic event of the PU for the last two decades.

The IJT PU Nazim said the Jamiat had contacted over 100 publishers for setting up their stalls at the book fair.

"In order to hold the book fair in a peaceful manner, the IJT contacted the PU registrar and students' advisor, but the varsity administration refused to allow the event," he added.

Mr Naveed said: "If the university had an objection that the book fair was being organised by students, it might constitute a teachers' committee to organise the event." He said the students had organised a protest rally to express their resentment over the decision.

He alleged the plan of sabotaging the book fair was made in the Governor's House and it was a move to make it a case against the restoration of students' unions.

He warned if the Punjab government resorted to police action against the students, it would itself be responsible for the law and order situation all over the province.

Mr Naveed also condemned the PU administration for the alleged manhandling of a private TV channel's cameraman by the varsity's security guards while he was covering on-campus police deployment.

Meanwhile, PU student unions' former presidents Masood Ahmad Khokhar, Abdul Shakoor, Hafeez Khan and Syed Ehsanullah Waqas expressed their strong reservations against the PU decision to stop the book fair.

ISF: The Insaf Students Federation said the closure of the university showed PU administrations' inability to control a students' group.

ISF convener Ahmad Muaaz said the administration should have acted wisely and organised the book fair under its supervision instead of wasting students' academic time.

He also condemned the IJT activists for inviting non-students on the campus and issuing threats of disrupting peace in the province.

ISO: Imamia Students Organisation President Muhammad Yaqoob stressed the student unions must cooperate with the administration to create an ideal academic environment in the university.

HOSTLES VACATED: The Punjab University administration on Monday got vacated all hostels on the New Campus as almost all male and female students left for their homes to spend week-long holidays.

As students were leaving the hostels on the instructions of the university administration, some students - Muhammad Usman, Naeem, Ashraf and others said that they would return on Sunday because there was no point in "wasting" two holidays for a half-working day on Friday. They said that they would be monitoring the PU environment through media before deciding whether they should return to the varsity or not.

It is learnt that the varsity had only allowed the foreigner students to stay in the hostels. Dawn



5th class exams from today
Lahore: As many as 822,084 students of class 5th are participating in the annual examination-2008 commencing from tomorrow (May 13) under the aegis of Punjab Examination Commission. According to education department, the students will take the exams of six papers that will continue for four days. A total of 6137 examination centres have been set up for the students of over 50,000 primary schools in the province, he added. App
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