Peshawar University students' protest against fee hike turns violent; seven injured during clash with police; 28 arrested

Students of Peshawar University on Thursday clashed with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police while protesting against mounting admission, examination and hostel charge, according to reports. Seven students were injured as protests turned violent, according to The Express Tribune.

Pakistani newspaper Dawn quoted a police official as saying that 28 students had been arrested for staging the protest held in violation of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedures Code. He also said that three policemen had also received injuries during the clash.

 Peshawar University students protest against fee hike turns violent; seven injured during clash with police; 28 arrested

Representational image. Reuters

Malakand Students Society president Waleed told The Nation that the protesters were demanding reduction in admission fee and withdrawal of an FIR against the students, besides allowing them to attend their examinations.

According to student organisations, the admission, examination and hostel charges have increased to over 400 percent in the last decade. The university has rejected the claims of fee hike and corruption charges against the administration, according to The Express Tribune.

The protest was announced by the Muttahida Tulaba Mahaz and was held at the university's Pearl Lawn, where students from the Pukhtoon Students Federation (PSF) — the student wing of Awami National Party (ANP) — Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Islami Jamiat Taleba (IJT), and Muslim Students Federation (MSF) congregated to record their opposition to the fee hike, the report added.

Mutahidda Talba Mahaz chairman Bilal Khan had alleged that a fake FIR was registered against the students to conceal corruption of some officials, according to Dawn.

A university spokesperson was quoted in The Nation report as saying that the students had occupied rooms on the campus illegally and the "university administration had no option other than to use force as the students were attacking administration block with a violent protest demonstration".

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the police action and expressed solidarity with the university students. He also demanded that all the detained students should be freed and their fee should be reduced "to make education affordable for every student aspiring for higher education", according to Daily Times.

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Updated Date: Oct 05, 2018 20:11:11 IST