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PU notices to hostel students

LAHORE, Aug 11: The Punjab University administration on Friday served notices on a number of students on charges of misconduct and violation of hostel rules. The students who belong to the Shia community, however, said they were being victimised for demanding permission to offer their prayers collectively at a hostel mosque.

The students, including Syed Hakim Husain, Bilal Jafri, Abul Hasan, Nazim Husain and Shaukat Ali, were asked to appear before an inquiry committee at the Student Teacher Centre (STC).

The notice reads as: "It has been noticed that you are involved in activities amounting to serious misconduct, indiscipline of university hostel rules. This may result in a grave law and order situation in the campus. You are, therefore, directed to appear before the inquiry committee at STC on Aug 10."

Talking to us, one of the accused Syed Hakim Husain (who appeared before the committee on Friday afternoon) said the inquiry committee members had asked him to stop the Shia students from offering prayers collectively (separately) at the Hostel No 17 mosque.

An Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) spokesman said the administration had also deployed guards outside the mosque. He said the Shia students were even ready to offer Maghrib prayers led by Sunni students.

PU Hall Council chairman Prof Azhar Ikram said the administration could not allow a sectarian divide, and all students should offer prayers collectively as had been the practice since the establishment of the university.

Prof Ikram said any permission to Shia students to hold their Maghrib congregation separately would create problems for the university administration. He said the administration was trying to convince the students that they should not use religion as a tool and create unrest on the campus. Dawn
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