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SSC exams | Karachi University protest against thrashing professor

SSC exams start from 15th
Karachi, April 9, 2008: The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) annual examination 2008 of Science and General (regular and private) groups will commence on April 15.

A record number of candidates ie around 300,000 have been registered to take the exams this year.

This was stated by the controller of examinations of the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK), Syed Javed Iftikhar, on Tuesday.

He said that these examinations would be conducted simultaneously. The papers of class X will be conducted in the morning session and those of the class IX in the afternoon from 2pm to 5pm.

The examinations will be held at over 400 centres set up across the city. The preparations for the conduct of the examinations have almost been completed.

The BSEK official said that the exam schedule had already been distributed and the admit cards of the private candidates had already been dispatched to their respective addresses.

Meanwhile, the BSEK has also directed the heads of all the affiliated education institutions to send their representatives with authority letters to collect the admit cards of SSC annual examinations.

In this regard, a meeting of all the superintendents of the examination centres is scheduled to be held on April 10 at 11am for girls and at 2pm for boys' centres at the Conference Hall of the board.

Furthermore, the centre superintendents have been asked to collect the examination material immediately from the board. APP/PPI

Protest against thrashing of KU professor
Karachi: Over a hundred people attended a sit-in demonstration on Tuesday at the University of Karachi (KU) Silver Jubilee Gate to protest the mistreatment of Prof. Riaz Ahmed by the Rangers on March 31.

The protest was organized by Peoples' Resistance, a coalition of students, teachers, doctors, journalists, young professionals, human rights organizations and regular citizens.

They demanded the immediate withdrawal of the false non-bailable FIR registered against Dr Riaz by the rangers that had confronted him. They also demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident and the removal of military personnel from educational institutions in the city.

The protest was attended by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Roots for Equity, International Socialists, Network for Women's Rights (NWR), Labour Party of Pakistan (LPP) and the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP) as well as non-affiliated citizens, students and teachers. Classes at the university will remain suspended April 9 and 10. ppi

Karachi University to remain closed for two more days
Karachi: The University of Karachi announced on Tuesday that classes would remain suspended for two more days and said that the rationale behind the closure decision was that without a law-enforcement agency available to guard the campus, it would be unwise to put the lives of students at risk.

The KU Campus Adviser, Dr Khalid Iraqi, said that the university had received no notification by the Sindh government or the governor on a decision over the deployment or withdrawal of paramilitary forces in the university.

"The commandant of the Rangers informed the VC on Saturday about the Rangers being removed from the campus gates," he said.

Karachi University has already been closed for two days.

He also said that the student advisory committee had a meeting on Tuesday with the VC in which they told him about the emerging situation. According to him, the student advisory council had been in touch with both student groups that had a clash on Saturday and was trying to sort things out. "However, keeping in mind the way both student groups went about showing weapons with no law-enforcement agency around, it is not appropriate to endanger the lives of so many students in such circumstances," he said.

Rangers may return
Dr Iraqi also said the VC had called the chancellor, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, and asked for the immediate deployment of a law-enforcement agency. However, some inside sources revealed that a top officer of Rangers had a meeting with the VC before the withdrawal of the force and informed him about it. The sources also claimed that the Rangers high-ups had called the university administration and the VC would have a meeting with the officers in which the whole issue would be settled.

"Though the Rangers are answerable to the Sindh government and the governor, who decides about their deployment in educational institutes, here they just refused to perform their job assigned to them by the government on the pretext that the teachers demanded that they vacate the university. However, the issue has been resolved to a great extent and Rangers will resume their security job at the university on Friday," said the source.

A professor, seeking anonymity, said: "When we proposed an alternative security plan, we did not mean it to happen overnight. A teacher would not wish to sit idle at home while the university remains closed owing to the law and order situation. We called for some reforms and it was not such a Herculean task as it has been made out to be."

The Rangers PRO when contacted for a comment said he could not issue a statement unless he had instructions from his bosses.

Protest against FIR
"We demand that the FIR registered against Prof Dr Riaz Ahmed be withdrawn by the Rangers," said an NGO, the People's Resistance, while staging a sit-in at the Silver Jubilee Gate of the university on Tuesday.

Scores of protesters, carrying placards and banners, chanted slogans against Rangers and the VC for not taking any action against it. They also demanded the Rangers withdraw their FIR.

"We demand the removal of military personnel from educational institutions as part of a larger demilitarization process in Pakistani society. Personnel of the Rangers para-military are force posted at the university, whereas the Dr Riaz incident adds to their list of things that they shouldn't have done," they said.Citizens, students, teachers, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, Roots for Equity, International Socialists, the Network for Women's Rights, the Labour Party of Pakistan and the Communist Mazdoor-Kissan Party took part in the protest.

"There was no reason for the Rangers officers to beat up Dr Riaz Ahmed since the eyewitness that we talked to revealed that the Silver Jubilee Gate was closed neither for students nor for teachers," said Abdul Hai, a member of the council formed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan to investigate the incident of a teacher being beaten up by Rangers. The HRCP Fact-Finding Report would be made public on April 12, said Mr Hai. The council comprises Asad Iqbal Butt, Syed Shamsuddin and Abdul Hai.

According to Mr Hai, the council had talked to Rangers PRO Capt Fazal, who blamed Dr Ahmed for the incident. Dawn
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