Four students arrested by the Lahore police on charges of protesting and rioting against in-person examinations on January 26 have been released over lack of evidence.
On Saturday, investigation officer Muhammad Hussain released Haris Ahmed Khan, Sulaiman Sikander, Muhammad Ali, and Sanaullah, citing that “no incriminating material against them was found on record”. The students were arrested on January 29 for inciting students outside the varsity to resort to violence through hate speech. A clash between students and security guards occurred during the protest. The students said that the guards attacked them with batons and bats but the management claimed that students started the fight by pelting stones at the guards. An FIR was registered against the four students and they were remanded into police custody for three days. The officer stated that the accused men were at the location of the protest but didn’t participate in it. Earlier on Saturday, the parents of the released students had filed a petition in the LHC claiming that the police detained them unlawfully and demanded that a case of wrongful confinement should be registered against them.
Many students were injured in the attack and were moved to Jinnah hospital.
The management of the universities had earlier said that as the government was reopening universities from February 1, they might as well take exams on campus.
Earlier this week, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said the Higher Education Commission will consult with varsities on the matter but the final decision rests in the managements’ hands.
The HEC does not have any authority over the academic decisions made by the varsities, Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir told a private TV. “The HEC only advises them when they consult the body.”