Separate prayers demand: Six expelled from PU hostels
LAHORE, Aug 20: The Punjab University (PU) on Saturday expelled six Shia students from hostels
who according to the PU administration were allegedly demanding separate prayer
arrangements on the campus.
A deadline given by a Jamat-e-Islami (JI) leader
regarding permission to offer prayers separately will end today. Shia students
in a meeting on Sunday said that they would decide their strategy after their
meeting with the PU vice chancellor on Tuesday.
According to a notice issued
by the PU Hall Council, 6 expelled students included Hailey College students
Bilal Jeffery, Syed Hakim, Muhammad Yaqoob, Abul Hassan, History Department
student Zaman Hussain and Micro Electronics Department student Muhammad
PU registrar Dr Naeem Khan said that the PU was a
public sector university and it was not a GHQ. He said the university could not
expel students without any reason. He said PU authorities would probe the matter
and no students would be treated on religious grounds.
PU Hall Council
chairman Azhar Ikram said, "We will not allow Shia students to offer their
prayers separately behind their own prayer leaders in hostel mosques." He said
the expelled students were trying to start a Shia-Sunni clash. He said the PU
administration had already warned Shia students not to offer their prayers under
separate prayer leader. "We have forwarded the expulsion case to the PU academic
officials." He said. "No matter if the PU academic bodies will allow Shia
students to offer their prayers separately, we won't allow them."
Students Organisation leader Mumtaz Ahmed Malik said, "We will bring the
expulsion issue in front of the PU VC." He said Shia students across the country
would start protest demonstrations. He said the organisation had chalked out a
strategy regarding a country-wise protest.
PU Shia students had stopped to
offer their prayers on roads a week ago after a meeting between ISO and JI
leaders. The meeting had decided that after a week Shia students would be
allowed to offer their prayers separately in PU mosques.
ISO spokesman Syed
Farhan said the PU Hall Council was under the stranglehold of Islami Jamiat
Talaba (IJT). He said the PU registrar had allowed student to offer their
prayers according to their faith, but a group of teachers belonging to IJT were
not willing to allow Shia students to offer their prayers. He said these
teachers were of the view that it could challenge writ of IJT on campus.
Shia student doing her MPhil said, "We are forced not to show our identity as
the PU administration can be harsh on us." She said IJT had been promoting its
agenda not only in boys' hostels but in girls' hostels too. She blamed the
hostel authorities for supporting IJT. Daily times