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University of Peshawar admin under probe for illegal appointments, corruption

University of Peshawar admin under probe for illegal appointments, corruption

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa parliamentary committee probing the Oct 4 police violence against the protesting University of Peshawar students on campus is also looking into the allegations of illegal appointments and financial corruption in the province’s historic varsity.

“We are not only probing the police’s highhandedness on campus but we are also going to probe the allegations of illegal appointments, irregularities and financial corruption in the university. We will be looking into the complaints of fee hike, too,” said committee member Sardar Hussain Babak.

The committee held its first meeting here and recorded the statements of the leaders of several student federations.

Mr Babak said the committee would soon record the statements of the UoP administration’s members on the matter before finalising the report.

PA panel also looking into police violence against students, fee hike

“We hope that the government will take steps to save the province’s oldest institution of higher learning,” he said.

Law minister Sultan Mohammad Khan, who heads the panel consisting of both treasury and opposition MPAs, was not available for comments on the matter.

The committee was formed by the government to probe the baton-charging of UoP students by the police against fee hike on Oct 4, which led to the injury of some protesters and arrest of their leaders.

The protesters accused the university administration of not keeping its promise of resolving transport and hostel issues.

They also raised questions about the raising of a new security force in the presence of the Campus Police and UoP security personnel.

The students staged the second protest on Tuesday forcing university officials to meet and even the parliamentary committee held its first meeting.

“We have no expectations from the UoP administration but called off our protest when the parliamentary committee asked us to promising to look into our complaints,” said a member of the Muttahida Tulaba Mahaz, a body of all UoP student organisations and federations raising issues like fee hike.

The MTM had held a sit-in last year for around two weeks, which was ended after former higher education minister Mushtaq Ghani assured it of help and raised their issues with the UoP administration.

Spokesman for the UoP Ali Imran Bangash quoted a news report as claiming that a police official had admitted that the policemen were responsible for the baton-charging of students. He insisted that mostly outsiders were behind protests on campus.

The spokesman said the terms of reference authorised the parliamentary committee to probe the UoP fee hike, use of hotels by outsiders, irregularities in administrative affairs, and the police’s highhandedness against students.

When contacted, MTM chairman Bilal Buneri said the Tuesday protest was called off after the parliamentary committee promised the immediate start of the probe into the UoP affairs, including the Oct 4 police violence against students.

He said Section 144 was imposed on campus and when Class IV staff members protested, nothing happened but ironically, when the students staged a protest, they were suppressed under the section of the law.

Mr Buneri said the students took up the alleged UoP irregularities and corruption, harassment, fee hike and violence with the committee, which would compile its report within two weeks.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2018

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