November 20, 2019 8:41:23 pm
Police in Pakistan’s Punjab province have registered a sedition case against 17 students of the prestigious Sindh University for allegedly raising slogans against Pakistan and defacing walls with anti-government messages during a protest held on the varsity premises.
Jamshoro police registered the case against the students on the complaint of Ghulam Qadir Panhwar, the security head of the campus.
The complainant said that on October 31 the hostel in-charge Qamar Lashari, Niaz Buledi, and provost Shahab Ahmed Soomro had informed him that around 17 to 18 students of the Jeay Sindh group had raised anti-Pakistan and anti-government slogans and had been involved in wall chalking outside the boys’ hostel’s main gate, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The students moved towards the hostel while continuing to chant slogans such as “Sindhu Desh, Na Khapey Na Khapey Pakistan (we will break Pakistan), Panhwar said, adding that he and the hostel in-charge identified the students involved.
According to police, some students raised “anti-Pakistan” slogans at the protest.
“We have video record and other evidence against the students who were raising the slogans,” Panhwar was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.
Asked if he could share the video footage, the official refused, saying, “We can’t share the proof with you, but these are student activists of various nationalist parties and are involved in anti-Pakistan activities”.
However, the students booked in the case rejected the allegations against them and said that they had staged the protest against water shortage in the hostel.
They denied the allegations that they were carrying Jeay Sindh flags, raising anti-Pakistan slogans or wall chalking against the country.
The students accused the administration of harassing them and toying with their future by resorting to vindictive actions against them.
“They have lodged fake cases of sedition against these students and we will challenge it in the court of law because the police have no evidence,” said Mehran Memon, an activist a the varsity alumnus.
“If the demonstration was held on October 31, why have the police registered the case after 18 days?” he asked.
Sindh University Vice-Chancellor Fateh Mohammad Burfat said the varsity administration had not been consulted before the FIR was registered.
Burfat said that on October 31, the students had held a protest against a water shortage but they had not raised anti-Pakistan slogans nor were they carrying Jeay Sindh flags. He said he will speak to the police and investigate how such a case was registered.
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