Islamia College University students protest
Peshawar Police baton-charge Islamia College students
Peshawar, Jan 14: The University Campus Police baton-charged the protesting students of
Islamia College University (ICU) here Wednesday for the second consecutive day,
causing injuries to several of them while scores of students were arrested.
The students were protesting against the university administration for
not allowing them to appear in the annual examination due to attendance
shortage.The admission forms for annual examination were not accepted from the
intermediate students having less than 75 per cent attendance. The students were
The intermediate students staged protest on the premises of
the university on Tuesday. The university administration had called police to
deal with the situation, which resorted to indiscriminate baton-charge and
firing of teargas shells to disperse the students.
When former president
of the Teaching Staff Association, Izhar Ahmad, tried to save the students, he
was also allegedly tortured and abused by police, which further aggravated the
On Wednesday, the students came out more vigorously to face
the brunt of police. A hide and seek between police and the students continued
right from the morning till evening. At times the students came on the main
Jamrud Road and blocked it for all kinds of traffic.
Despite using full
might to disperse the students, police failed to control the situation. The
students continued to gather in small number at different places in the
university almost the whole day to chant slogans against the university
administration and pelt the university building as well as police with stones.
Equipped with riot-shields, batons and teargas shooters, police followed the
students to beat them up and try to arrest them.
Scores of the students
sustained injuries and others were arrested. The teachers and other staff of the
university, concerned over the situation, convened the executive body meetings
of their respective associations later in the evening to discuss the
The meetings condemned the police and university
administration's attitude and the maltreatment of the students, a teacher and a
laboratory attendant. The teachers condemned the police for not registering case
against Station House Officer Waqar, who had allegedly manhandled and abused
Izhar Ahmad, a teacher of the Botany Department of the university.
meeting declared that the general body meeting of the teaching staff
association, class-III and class-IV association would be held in the Khyber
Union Hall of the university today (Thursday), followed by a protest against the
alleged police excesses.
Meanwhile, the Islamia College University
administration closed the intermediate section of the university for an
indefinite period. The graduate and postgraduate sections would, however, remain
Talking to media Vice-Chancellor of the ICU Ajmal Khan said the
university had an established criterion for admission to examination. Those who
do not fulfil the criteria could not be allowed to appear in the examination, he
said, adding that they would not succumb to any pressure and would not
compromise on rules.
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Islamia College renovation
Peshawar: Shiny marble tiles have replaced the century-old brick-made floor and
stairs of the historic Islamia College which is being renovated and
Besides the main building of the college established in 1913,
the repair and renovation of the domes of Islamia College mosque is also in
progress with conservationists fearing it is tantamount to damaging the
Almost all the floors, stairs and border of main building
have been renovated by placing marble slabs replacing the decades-old Waziri
bricks. Moreover, the original design of the stairs has been changed. Though the
wooden floor of Roos-Keppel Hall has not been replaced but being polished and
walls repaired in its original brick shape.
Sources said some engineers
had suggested to government recently that irrigation channels within the college
were causing structural problems but they failed to chalk out comprehensive
conservation procedures for improving the situation. The government approved
money for structural reinforcements and water proofing the immediate
surroundings and roofs of the college.
Executive Engineer (XEN) of
Islamia College and contractor brought some masons from the Punjab for the
construction but the sources said they had no experience of domes building. Not
only the masons, but site in-charge of the contractor who is restoring the
college building has no previous experience and has a master's degree in Urdu,
claimed the sources.
By visiting the college one can especially notice
lighter colour and bulged uneven domes at the right side of the college. All
newly plastered domes are of different colours. Bulges and unevenness of three
domes is visible from different angles.
It would have been better had the
college administration concentrated on just repairing the damaged portions and
water proofed the buildings from top and bottom with least alterations as
Islamia College (now Islamia College University) is among the world heritage
buildings, said the sources.
Neither the college management nor the
contractors have kept in mind the conservation manual, which prohibits
experiments on priceless and irreplaceable heritage sites.
masons of NWFP have built extremely proportional and symmetrical domes of some
of the newly built mosques and other grand structures and hiring their services
could have saved this historical building from reshaping.
stairs had curvy sides which were flowing to the bottom as integral part of the
original architecture and double pointed arches of the verandahs, which have
been rebuilt with square edged marble that do not blend with the original
structure of the building.
Conservationists fear the world historic
Islamia College buildings would lose its heritage importance if its originality
were not preserved.
Mahmood Aslam, an environmentalist and
conservationist from Abbottabad is among those trying to save the historical and
heritage assets from destruction. He visited the college to persuade the
management to keep intact the originality of the buildings but in
Dr Adil Zareef of the Sarhad Conservation Network (SCN) said the
college should be declared a national heritage site and further construction on
the premises be stopped. "It's a unique structure and the premises having
sprawling lawns should not be congested with new constructions. Preservation
experts should be invited if any repair is needed in the buildings," he
He appealed to the government to declare Islamia College a
national heritage only then Unesco and other organisations would come for its
Islamia College University
Director Works Abid Kamal said they had tried their best to preserve
originality of the structure. According to engineering point of view, bricks
have maximum age of 50 years and could not be sustained for longer that's why
the old Waziri brick floors were replaced with marbles tiles, he
The official said a committee having conservation and archaeology
experts, professors from the Engineering University and Tourism Department was
monitoring the work and had appreciated its standard.
He said the main building
was fully renovated in its original shape and colour while marbles had been
placed on floors, as repair with bricks was not possible. The masons brought
from Punjab were dome experts as their forefathers had expertise in dome
building and they would repair the mosque domes as well, he added.
official claimed to have received appreciation letters from many
conservationists for keeping intact the originality of the structure while
renovating the college.
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PkSO activists slamed quota system
Quetta: The Pakhtunkhwa Students Organisation has said that merit should
be the sole criterion for admission in educational institutions.
activists made the demand during a protest they held outside the press club here
on Tuesday against the quota system in the education institutions of
Balochistan. The news
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