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Pakistan

Five injured as student protests in Lahore, Faisalabad turn violent

  • Students of the Central University of Punjab in Lahore staged a sit-in outside their campus and requested the management to hold talks with them at 2pm.
  • The students have demanded that either exam be taken online or universities should postpone the finals.
Updated 26 Jan 2021

University students protest against on-campus examination turned violent as they clashed with the police and security guards outside their campuses in Lahore and Faisalabad Tuesday afternoon.

As many as five students were injured in protests outside the NFC University in Faisalabad. According to reports, a guard has been injured too. Over 200 student had gathered outside the varsity in the district Jaranwala protesting against physical exams.

The protested turned violent when they started pelting stones at the university gate and tried to break in. The police intervened, baton-charged the protesters, and arrested five students.

A total of 15 students have been locked up inside the varsity by the management as well.

Meanwhile, Students of the Central University of Punjab in Lahore staged a sit-in outside their campus and requested the management to hold talks with them at 2pm.

During their sit-in, some students started pelting stones at the security guards after a heated exchange.

Some students started pelting stones at the security guards after a heated exchange. A group of students even broke into the campus on Khayaban-e-Jinnah. The security guards baton-charged the protesters and tried to disperse the crowd.

The police have reached the site as well. No injuries have been reported yet.

Another protest is also underway outside the National Textile University located near the Sheikhupura Road in the city. The students have blocked the Green Belt for traffic and are staging a sit-in there.

Students across Pakistan, including those from Islamabad’s National University of Modern Languages, and Multan’s NFC Institute of Engineering and Technology have been protesting against varsities’ decision of taking exams for the fall semester 2020-2021 in person.

They have demanded that throughout the semester, they took classes online, and therefore exams, too, should be taken that way.

The students have demanded that either exam be taken online or universities should postpone the finals.

Protests ensued in other parts of the country such as Bahawalpur, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan as well.

Following that protest, a number of varsities such as the University of Management and Technology and the University of Peshawar reverted their decision and postponed the examinations.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood has taken notice of students protesting demanding online exams and directed HEC to consult with the vice-chancellors of varsities over the matter.

In a series of tweets, the minister stated: “Some university students are demanding that their exams should be online as they have been studying online. This is a decision for the universities to make but I have asked HEC to consult VCs and see if it is possible given special circumstances this year.

“Universities should also asses whether they have the technical ability to conduct exam for all students. No one can be left behind. It is also necessary to ensure that online exam system is not misused to get easy grades. Preparing good question papers and assessment is important,” he added.

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