One dead, 13 injured in clashes at Islamabad varsity

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - ISLAMABAD: A student was killed and 13 injured in a clash between two student groups at the International Islamic University of Islamabad Thursday evening.

According to details, one of the groups had organised a book fair in the university while the other opposed it and the clash broke out after harsh words were exchanged between the two sides.

Islamist students group, Islami Jamiat Talabad (IJT), the student wing of Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), had organised the book fair while the Siraiki Students Council (SSC), a rival group, was opposed to it.

When the clash broke out JI vice-president Liaqat Baloch was addressing participants at the book fair. In an exchange of fire, a student Syed Tufail was killed while 13 students were taken to hospital after being critically injured.

After the incident, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Islamabad posted a tweet on social media according to which there was a clash between two student bodies in a university and unfortunately one student died because of the skirmish.

“We have taken over the security and police and magistrates are on site. Rangers have also been called in,” the DC tweeted adding, “the campus is being searched and anyone having information may contact 15.”

Police registered a case early on Friday and arrested 16 students after a search operation at the university and hostels was completed.

Police said no weapon was, however, recovered.

A First Information Report was registered at the Sabzi Mandi police station on the complaint of a student, Fahad Khan, under Section 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempt to murder), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to Fahad Khan, the ‘Mega Educational Expo’ was under way at the university’s activity centre when some individuals attacked it.

He said speakers were addressing the participants at around 8.40pm, SSC members attacked the event with firearms, glass bottles, iron rods, sharp tools, sticks and rocks.

Guests sitting on the stage and the chief guest Liaqat Baloch had to run from the venue to save their lives, Fahad Khan said in his complaint, adding that a number of students and organisers of the book festival were injured in the incident.

As per the FIR, the suspects continued to attack those at the event injuring several students. A heavy contingent of police and paramilitary forces (Rangers) took over the security of the campus to avert any further incidents. The university administration, meanwhile, announced closure of the university until further orders.

President of JI, Sirajul Haq, and other leaders later participated in the funeral prayer of Tufail that was held at the university ground.

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