Police resort to violence on protesting university employees in Peshawar
The Assembly Chowk in Peshawar has become a battlefield when police resorted to violence on the protesting employees of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa universities, reported 24NewsHD TV Channel.
According to details, the employees of KP universities took out a rally on Monday at Peshawar Assembly Chowk. They were demanding an increase in the Higher Education Commission budget, the establishment of provincial commission and withdrawal of proposed reduction in allowances.
As the universities’ employees were protesting peacefully, police intervened and tried to disperse them. The police resorted to teargas shelling and the protestors were baton-charged. The entire area of Assembly Chowk presented a look of a battlefield.
Apart from teachers, class 3 and class 4 employees also took part in the protest. It was the fifth consecutive day of the universities’ employees protest held under the aegis of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA).
The provincial administration had deployed a heavy police force to thwart the rally on all routes leading to Assembly Chowk. All kind of traffic was closed on the Assembly Chowk due to protest rally.
President FAPUASA Dr Shah Alam demanded the withdrawal of notification regarding the reduction of allowances from the salaries of the universities’ employees.
The protesters demanded the establishment of a provincial higher education department under the 18th Amendment. They said there were HECs in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh, then why KP was not having its own HEC.
Dr Shah said instead of raising the budget of HEC, the government had reduced its budget from Rs114 billion to Rs64 billion.
The protesters vowed to continue their protest till the fulfilment of their demands.
Later, the university employees protested in front of the Peshawar Press Club. They said they were holding a peaceful protest when police started beating them with batons and lobbed teargas shells at protesters. They said police rounded up 25 of their colleagues. They announced if their demands were not met then all employees of the university including Class 4 staff would hold a pen-down strike.
The Provincial Doctors’ Association also condemned the police’s use of tear gas shelling and violence on protesting university employees. They condemned the arrests of the protesters and demanded their immediate release.
The doctors’ body also offered free treatment to those protesters who got injured by police brutality. It called upon the provincial government to reach an agreement with the university staff and resolve their issues.
Reporter Azmat Ali Shah