Issues between students and the administration of Peshawar University aren’t getting any better even though the KP Assembly formed a committee to resolve the problem.
Students say the university has kicked out many students from the campus hostels and hired private security personnel who are harassing them.
The Muttahida Talaba Mahaz has called for a protest on November 12 against the university administration.
The KP Assembly’s parliamentary committee formed to resolve the dispute has suggested that this security personnel be ‘discouraged’. It has asked the administration for details of its security plan.
The committee comprises KP Law Minister Sultan Mohammad Khan, ANP MPA Hussain Babak, PPP MPA Nighat Orakzai, members of the Higher Education Commission and the varsity’s vice-chancellor.
Last month, Peshawar University students staged protests against the administration and were beaten up by the police. Many were arrested.
The students say the university’s fee has increased exponentially and that students are being kicked out of the university’s hostels.
The administration dismissed the protests and said that many ‘outsiders’ occupied the university hostels, due to which university students didn’t have a place to stay. The students say many of them were kicked out of the hostels for protesting.
During the parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday, the vice-chancellor told the committee that illegal hostel residents have been removed. The committee has asked the vice-chancellor to submit records of the illegal residents.
Committee head Khan also asked the VC to submit details of the security measures at the varsity.
The Muttahida Talaba Mahaz claims that the university administration has appointed a retired colonel, Aziz Gul, as the chief security officer. He is paid Rs250,000 a month. The colonel has appointed 60 private security guards and the students say they misbehave with them.
The university has 300 policemen deployed on campus and more than 200 personnel of the Khyber Force. The Muttahida Talaba Mahaz said that hiring these extra security officers is nothing more than a strain on the university’s resources. They say the chief security officer was biased when he hired the private guards.
The Muttahida Talaba Mahaz called the protest on November 12 against the delay in action and their demands not being fulfilled.
Its chairperson, Bilal Khan Buneri, told SAMAA Digital that their demands were to reduce the fee and stop the harassment of students by the security personnel. But now, they have new demands.
“The provost of the university conducted two operations against the students on the orders of the current chief security officer,” said Buneri. “The new agenda of the protest is to demand the removal of the chief security officer and provost.”
During the last protest, the students also accused the university administration of corruption and demanded an investigation by NAB. The accountability bureau has begun investigating many senior officials and has also taken two senior officials into custody.
PRO Ali Imran Bangash said that there are 45 security officers deployed in the campus, who work in shifts. They were deployed in 2008. “The students have a problem with their deployment as they think restrictions are being imposed on them,” he said.
The colonel was appointed during the PML-N government by the former governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Bangash added.