On Monday as students from public universities protest against on-campus exams during an online semester, claims of police brutality have been making rounds on social media. Reportedly, several students were injured due to the baton charge by Punjab Police.
The President of the Lahore chapter of the Progressive Students’ Collective (PSC) Zubair Siddiqui, one of the leading figures in these protests, has been arrested by the police from the premises of the University of Management and Technology (UMT).
The official Twitter handle of the PSC tweeted that several students were injured and were taken to the ICU.
The police have denied reports of using violence against students. Saddar Division SP (Operations) Hafeezur Rehman Bugti told the local media that the police “have not tortured [any students], and will not torture”. Furthermore, he added that no First Information Report (FIR) has been registered and the police have only asked the university administration and the protesting students to reach a consensus through negotiations.
The administration of UMT maintains that the university introduced the policy in line with the guidelines of the High Education Commission (HEC).
Civil society and activists condemned the police’s actions against the students. Activist and academic Ammar Ali Jan strongly condemned the incident.
On the other end, a policeman sat with the students as a show of solidarity, earning praise of the crowd and students all over Twitter.