Peshawar police fire tear gas, baton charge govt teachers protesting reduction in allowances

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Staff Reporter
Peshawar

Police in Peshawar fired tear gas and baton-charged government teachers protesting university reforms, which include a reduction in allowances, in front of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday.

At least eight of the protesting teachers were also detained, police officials said, adding that they were held for blocking the road.

Peshawar University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) Fazl Nasir was also among those detained and allegedly beaten by the police.

Peshawar SSP (Operations) Yasir Khan Afridi said that citizens had the right to a peaceful protest and police do not take action if the protest is peaceful and limited to a side of the road. “If the protest create inconvenience for the citizens, then the law will come into action.

The [educated protesters] had blocked the road. Routes leading to hospitals were closed, causing trouble for people,” he said.

The official said the protesters dispersed soon after the police action and the road was cleared for traffic.

However, head of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FUAPASA), Dr Shah Alam, said the protest would continue until the demands were not met.

Meanwhile, KP government spokesperson Kamran Bangash said “some elements were wrongly attributing” the protests to policies of the provincial government.

Instead, the situation was created due to “bad decisions” taken by university administrations and “[lack of] responsibility” by the HEC, he claimed.

“KP govt, despite meagre resources, has come to the rescue of Universities in the past, is doing, and will continue in the future but Universities are required to put their house in order.

If reforms aimed at financial discipline aren’t implemented, the situation will be hard to sustain,” he tweeted.