PU declares book fair illegal

LAHORE - The Punjab University administration and the Islami Jamiat Tulaba are at dagger's drawn on the issue of 'Kitab Mela'. The IJT has announced to organise the 3-day book fair on May 13,14 and 15 at its old venue at the corridor of IER at New Campus. The varsity administration has declared the announcement of organising the book fair as 'illegal and immoral' and warned the publishers and booksellers that their participation in this book fair or any type of cooperation with students group will be considered as illegal. The IJT PU Nazim Zahid Khan said that they would proceed ahead according to the schedule. The group has also finalised arrangements with the book-sellers and publishers as well as with computer software companies for an exhibition of computers. The book fair has become controversial since 2005 when the PU syndicate declared it illegal. It was decided that the varsity would organise book fair of its own according to its Calender in October. Last year, PU administration suddenly announced pre-mature summer vacations on June 4 and thus foiled an attempt to hold the book fair. The book fair became a hot issue last year and a source of tension between the administration and the Tulaba Taqreebat committee. Amidst claims and counter claims, the ex-vice chancellor Arshad Mehmood allowed to continue the book fair and visited the venue to take stock of the things. The PU spokesman Prof Dr Mujahid Ali Mansoori, chairman hall council Dr Saeed Ahmad Nagra, Resident Office Prof Dr Bashsir Ahmad, incharge PU security in a joint Press conference maintained that no group of students can initiate any activity without taking prior permission from the vice-chancellor according to the decision taken by the PU syndicate in 2005 and following it by deans committee (2007). Dr Mansoori said that application submitted with the vice-chancellor office to seek permission in this regard, was unnamed and unsigned. There was no groups of the students exist in PU by the name of 'Tulba Taqreebat Committee' as mentioned in the application, he added. He observed that the holding of book fair would affect negatively academic peace and campus environment. If varsity administration allows this particular group of students to hold book fair, the administration would not be in a position to stop other groups of student which have appeared recently after the announcement of lifting ban on student unions. PU would not be responsible of the consequences if publishers and book sellers provides any funds and make any deal in this regard with the students group, Dr Mansoori warned. He maintained that PU has already asked the provincial government to provide cooperation to stop this illegal activity on its premises and hoped that govt would extend all-out cooperation to maintain academic peace in campuses. Disciplinary action in case of violation of the syndicate and deans committee's decisions would be initiated against students, their illegal companions and external elements, the administration warned.

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