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Students’ detention: BHC orders probe into Quetta incident

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AIG informs the court that SP city has been suspended and inquiry initiated. all students released

Herald Correspondent

Quetta: Balochistan High Court has ordered an impartial inquiry into the arrest of students who were protesting peacefully against online classes here on Wednesday.

The two-judge bench of the BHC headed by BHC Chief Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel with Justice Nazeer Ahmed Langov as its member directed the AIG police Sajid Cheema to submit the inquiry report as soon as possible.

The gave the directions while hearing a petition filed by Baloch Students Alliance (BSA) against the manhandling and detention of over 60 students including half a dozen female students.

The students had set up a three-day token hunger strike camp at Quetta and on the last day, they started marching towards BHC when the police stopped them and thrashed some of the students including girl students and detained them at the police station.

The protests by BSA have been going on for the last month against the Higher Education Commission (HEC) online education policy.

Earlier the AIG Quetta Abdur Razzaq Cheema informed the court that the SP City had been suspended and an inquiry into the incident has been initiated under the supervision of SSP Investigation. All the detained students have been released, he noted.



Mir Attaullah Langov and Kamran Murtaza, the counsels for the petitioners claimed that the students were tortured and detained without any provocation.

Advocate Langov said that the provincial government adopted double standards.

The government is not ready to take responsibility for the incident.

The AIG said the arrests were made due to some “misunderstanding”.

Meanwhile, the arrests triggered a massive response and criticism on social media by activists and politics.

Some student organisations held a protest rally in Islamabad to express solidarity with the Balochistan students.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Progressive Students Federation (PrSF), Balochistan Students Alliance (BSA), Islamabad and Revolutionary Students Front (RSF) condemned the police action.

They said the police dragged, beat, and tortured peaceful students. This barbarism is a clear sign that the state institutions want to silence the Baloch students instead of addressing their problems.
“Violence and the use of force against students who are raising their voice peacefully for their basic rights is an illegal and inhumane act,” Aunal Muntazir, a PrSF leader, said.

They also condemned the Islamabad police for harassing BSA members who had set up a token hunger strike camp outside HEC head office for asking universities to start online classes.
“In the wake of the corona pandemic, the HEC’s decision revolves around biased policy towards certain provinces and peripheries.”

Following the directives of the HEC, online classes have been started in all varsities and online examinations are also being conducted in many institutes. This has hit hard the students from Balochistan and Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, former tribal districts of KP, Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

At a time when students do not have access to the Internet and modern means of communication, conducting online classes has no logic and is being questioned. There is a risk of disruption in student’s educational activities.

Keeping in mind the objective conditions of these areas, a favourable policy from the HEC was needed.
They urged the HEC to cancel online classes immediately.

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