Three separate first information reports (FIR) have been registered against students of Punjab University for engaging in violent clashes and vandalism on the university premises on Monday. Police also produced closed to 200 students in an anti-terrorism court on Wednesday in connection with the violence, with the court sending 180 students to jail on judicial remand.

A statement released by the university administration said at least 37 students had been suspended and inquiry initiated against them for their involvement in Monday’s clashes.

The clash between Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) and Pakthun Baloch Students Union (PBSU) erupted on Monday over an event organized by IJT. Members of the PBSU allegedly tried to stop IJT from going ahead with the Pioneer’s Festival, leading to a full-scale violent battle between the two sides. The clash resulted in vandalism across university premises and also led to the arson of a chemistry lab.

The police had registered the FIRs under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act upon complaints filed by PU Chief Security Officer Col (R) Obaid Masood and station house officers of Sanda and Nawankot. Police continued raiding various hostels of the university on Tuesday and continued its search operations until late in the night. Law enforcement officials got several vacated from students and only allowed students back inside after through scrutiny.

Still feeling the effects of Monday’s clashes, the PU premises remained heavily guarded by law enforcement agencies’ officials, while a strict check on entry remained enforced. A number of protests, albeit peaceful, were held in and outside the university campus by students of IJT and PBSU, each side demanding action against the other for allegedly engaging in violence. Students affiliated with IJT staged a protest both at the campus crossing on the canal and Bhaikay Wal Mor near Allama Iqbal Town, affecting traffic across the town for hours. Police later arrived at the scene and forced the protesters to disperse. Separately, members of the PBSU also staged a protest at the campus crossing on canal road, demanding arrest and punishment of IJT members who allegedly assaulted a fellow student.

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