PU admin resolves not to allow book fair

LAHORE - The Punjab University administration has said that only academic activities will remain suspended for three days, May 15, while administrative offices and staff in the teaching departments will function as usual. Earlier the university was closed down for three days and on Monday the administrative offices also remained closed at both the campuses of the university. Registrar Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan has directed all the staff members to remain present during these days and perform their duties as usual. PU Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran summoned a meeting of deans of faculties to take stock of the situation. The PU spokesman Dr Mujahid Mansoori said that the meeting decided to keep the administrative offices and teaching departments open while there will be no classes. The VC directed the deans to chalk our revised timetable for the make-up classes suffered during the suspension of classes. It was reiterated that the university would not allow book fair in any case. It was also decided to accelerate the extra-curricular activities under the patronage of university administration including the book fair in October next in which all the student groups will be invited to participate. Dr Mansoori said that the university had established its writ and did not allow an illegal activity owing to its own programme of activities in which every group of students will participate. PU IJT Nazim Rana Zahid Naveed in a Press conference at STC hall on Monday said that the university stance reflect anti-education policy. He urged the university administration to restore the academic activities forthwith. He said soon after the opening, the IJT would proceed according to its programme to hold book fair. He said like past years, the IJT had so far contacted 100 publishers to display their books. He said the planning to restrict book fair was made at the Governor House. He said if their way was blocked the responsibility of disturbance would lie with the administration. Meanwhile the university administration warned the students to vacate the hostels. On the warning, almost half of the 6,000 students residing at 23 hostels vacated the hostels. The student representatives said that only those who were doing jobs did not vacate but they were worried for a possible police action any time. The students also brought out a rally on late Sunday evening against the restrictions on book fair from hostel No 9 to 15. On the warning of police action, they peacefully dispersed. The police was present inside the campus gate No 2. Underpasses and hostels gates were also closed. Strict vigilance was being exercised in hostels and students were allowed to move only by showing their ID cards. Insaaf Students Federation Punjab Chapter President Ahmad Moaz condemned the closure of hostels. He said the way the matter was being handled was creating problems. He said those who would be elected in student union elections should be authorised to hold the book fair in future and the current controversy be dealt with wisdom. Amir-e-Jamaat-i-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmad in a statement strongly condemned the restriction on book fair and cordoning of hostels by the police. He said the book fair was a positive and healthy activity and IJT was holding it since years and any restriction on it was un-understandable. He said after lifting ban on the student unions there was no justification of such a restriction and for that matter to close down the university. He said at this juncture when the country was passing through crisis and the law and order situation was grave, why peace in the campus was being tarnished by provoking the students? He did not rule out the role of Punjab governor in all such process. Qazi Hussain appealed to the students to remain calm. He also urged the PML-N government in Punjab to deal the matte amicably. On Monday, the students in observance of the black day, displayed banners and black flags at the hostels and on the entry points of hostels in protest against Karachi carnage on May 12, 2007.

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