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Sindh summer holidays | KU missing student

Summer holidays from June 1 to August 4
Karachi, May 17: Summer holidays for the education institutes in Sindh will begin on June 1 and end on August 4.

According to a notification issued by the Sindh Education Department on Tuesday, the whole month of Ramazan will fall in the summer holidays and the schools and colleges will reopen on August 5. The news

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Five new universities demanded for Karachi
Karachi: Karachi urgently needs five new universities, two new medical colleges and 50 additional colleges to cater growing needs of education. Former Karachi mayor Naimatullah Khan Advocate has said that the city faces problems in education sectors, as its educational institutions are not increasing as per increase in population. He said the city urgently needs to new general universities, one information technology university, one engineering university and one university for women in the government sector. Khan said the city also needs 2 new medical colleges and at least 50 new intermediate colleges in the government sector. He said the system of government schooling should be improved purging them from political interference.He said Karachi also faces serious healthcare issuesand to mitigate them at least two new tertiary-carehospitals of at least 1000-bed each should be established in the city in government sector. He also recommended one emergency healthcare centre and one cardiac centre in each town of Karachi. Daily times

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Second-year KU student missing since Friday
Karachi: Besides countless banners and posters of various student groups of political parties at the Karachi University (KU) is another poster put up by the family of a second-year student who has been missing since Friday.

Physiology student Sobia Imtiaz was last seen by her friends at the zoology department, where she was supposed to stay till 3pm in the laboratory. However, Sobia left the class early because she "had been feeling unwell", according to her classmates as quoted by university officials. Around 2pm she took a rickshaw and no one has heard from her since.

On Saturday morning Sobia's father filed a complaint at the Mubina Town police station under section 365B of the Pakistan Penal Code pertaining to kidnapping to compel the woman for marriage.

According to a relative, the family last heard from her on Friday morning a little after seven, when she had left for the university as usual in the van.

Chairperson of the physiology department Prof Qamar Amin confirmed that Sobia was a second-year student at the department but refused to give further details.

According to the campus security incharge Khalid Iraqi, Sobia had left the university campus after one and went missing from outside the campus. "Sobia was in the laboratory at the zoology department when she began to feel ill," he said, quoting her classmates. "She then took a rickshaw from outside the department and left the campus and hasn't been heard from since."

Iraqi said according to the family, Sobia's mobile phone had last been traced in the vicinity of Afghan Basti on Super Highway.

On the other hand, Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) officials told The News that Sobia's phone had last been traced to somewhere in the vicinity of the university at around 3pm on Friday, after which it was switched off. They said they were looking into the matter and taking steps for Sobia's rescue. The family said the CPLC had asked for two days to take relevant steps regarding her rescue.

Undocumented rickshaws

A few faculty members have expressed concern over the plying of auto rickshaws inside the campus without any authentication or documentation.

Sources said intelligence officials had also paid a visit on Monday morning to KU Vice Chancellor Prof Muhammad Qaiser who, surprisingly, was not even aware of the incident. However, they said, the administration had known about it since Friday.

"Around 80 percent of the students studying at the university are girls and most of them travel by public transport," they said.

"Allowing rickshaws to enter the campus without any verification is a huge security lapse and can put thousands of lives in jeopardy."

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Missing KU student not kidnapped, says CPLC
Karachi: The curious case of the missing second-year physiology student which had the Karachi University (KU) administration and many parents and students at their wits' end turned out to be quite another matter after all, it emerged on Tuesday.

Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) chief Ahmed Chinoy confirmed that it was definitely not a case of kidnapping. He said the CPLC had reason to believe that the missing student, Sobia Imtiaz, had gone somewhere on her own accord.

The family of the student maintained that they had not yet had any contact with her.

For the past three days, the university administration has been in the cross hairs for sloppy security arrangements at the campus and letting rickshaws in without proper authentication. However, the incident has resulted in prompting the university officials to take stock of the security situation at the campus. Rickshaws were not allowed inside the campus on Tuesday at all.

Moreover, according to a senior faculty member, it was decided during an executive meeting at the varsity on Tuesday morning to allow rickshaws or private vehicles only after verification of proper documents and noting down their registrations numbers. The drivers would then be provided a slip which they would have to return on their way out.

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KU officials dispel rumours of rape at campus
Karachi: A second-year student of the sociology department was sexually assaulted by a teacher at the mathematics department of the Karachi University at 7pm on April 30. To escape, she jumped off the rooftop and landed safely on the ground, attracting much attention from passers-by. That is the latest rumour around campus.

No one really remembers how it started, but text messages spread like wildfire. A few protests were held on campus, an anonymous letter to the editor appeared in an English newspaper, and now every girl at the campus feels that the university is no longer a safe place.

Take for example Aliya Farooqi and her group of friends from the department of psychology, who refuse to wander about the campus alone. "It is just not safe. Haven't you heard about the girl who got raped?" she says.

Almost anyone who has ever been affiliated with the university seems to have heard about the unfortunate incident. These people include officials at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, who made frantic calls to reporters in a bid to ascertain the authenticity of the case.

The university finally had to take notice of the mounting pressure. A three-member search committee of teachers Zareena Shamsad, Ghazal Khawaja and Shamim Sahib was formulated. Their report, submitted to the vice chancellor on Wednesday, dispels the rumours and the incident completely.

The report, which includes a handwritten statement by the girl, states that no sexual advances were made by any teacher. "The girl writes that she went to the mathematics department with her friends. She wandered off to the rooftop and by the time she came down, the rumours had already started to spread," said Ghazal Khawaja.

Khalid Iraqi, the admissions director who was first to be informed of the incident by students, said, "I personally looked into the case. First, we spoke to the girl's brother who clearly denied any rape attempt. Then we spoke to the girl and she also denied the charges."

Mutahir Ahmed, a member of the Karachi University Teachers' Association said, "It seems to be nothing but a rumour as no victim has come forward yet."

The girl's family does not want to speak to the media as such an incident, particularly when it involves an unmarried girl, leads to grave complications and consequences in a society that is becoming more conservative by the day.

Taj ul Mulook, a student who took up the case with the university management, said, "We are satisfied by the investigation conducted by the management. The rape case was just a rumour. The reason it spread so quickly was that, after the alleged incident, the university remained shut for four days due to Labour Day, a strike and then the weekend."

Fazeela Mehdi, who was part of at least 70 students who protested outside the administration block last week, said, "There was a lot of commotion. Some students claimed that their teachers had asked them not to join the protests. An official pleaded with the protestors to disperse and said that the incident was just a rumour. One girl yelled that the university always protects the rapists and this was not the first such case."

In the past, there have been cases when sexual assaults by teachers have been brushed under the carpet. For instance, in 2012, at least 13 girls signed a complaint accusing a blind teacher of the Urdu department of sexual harassment.

The university, after setting up a three-member investigative committee, sent the teacher on forced leave. Students claim that the accused is back at the university now, although in a non-teaching capacity.

However, this case seems different from the others. Firstly, no other girls have come forward with similar stories about the accused, which has been a common trend in such cases. Secondly, the girl's family completely denies that the incident ever took place and, lastly, everyone seems to have heard about it but no one claims to have heard a first person account.

"It seems to be a case of political point scoring, where one student group tries to defame the other," said a teacher working in the university administration, requesting for anonymity, "It could also be a personal vendetta, where a dejected lover seeks revenge by ruining a girl's reputation."

In any case, girls at the university can breathe a collective sigh of relief - at least for now. The news

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