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Shia students 'being threatened, photographed at mosque door'

LAHORE, Aug 27: Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) information secretary Mumtaz Ahmad has alleged that the Punjab University (PU) Shia students are being threatened and the administration is photographing them. PU authorities say the measure has been taken in order to identify 'outsiders'.

Mumtaz said PU administration had stopped Shia students from entering the hostel-17 mosque. He said the administration had also photographed them. PU administration, he said, had sent notices to parents of Shia students urging them to stop their children from praying collectively. He said, "PU administration has warned our parents that they will expel us from the university if we won't withdraw our separate prayers demand."

PU Hall Council chairman Azhar Ikram said after a meeting with the PU vice chancellor the administration had decided to allow Shia students to offer prayers in their own hostels instead of praying collectively in one hostel. He said he was ignorant of Shia students being photographed. He said no notices have been sent to parents of Shia students.

PU registrar Dr Naeem Khan said PU administration was taking snaps of students, as it came to know that some 'outsiders' were intermittently entering the hostel-17 during prayer times.

He said the issue was resolved on the day when the administration allowed Shia students to offer prayers in their own hostels. He said Shia students were still trying to offer collective prayers in hostel-17 mosque and were trying to disturb the PU atmosphere.

In the wake of the current issue a press conference of Shia religious leaders was held at the Lahore Press Club. Shia scholars Allama Hussain Naqvi, Allama Muhammad Khan and Allama Imtiaz Abbasi were present on the occasion. They said offering prayers under a separate prayer leader was the basic right of Shia students. They said PU administration should provide security to Shia students during prayer hours as some 'miscreants' on the campus could harm them. They denounced PU administration for expelling six Shia students from their hostels. They said notices issued to these students should be taken back. Daily times
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