Islamabad: 24 wounded after Baloch, Pashtun students clash at QAU

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Pakistan’s top-ranking university became a battleground on Monday as the students of the Baloch and Pashtun councils clashed, leaving 24 people injured. The university has been temporarily closed and hostels have been evacuated. The university has also asked the government for the deployment of Rangers in QAU for the “identification and expulsion of outsiders/miscreants.”

According to reports, students of the two councils violently clashed on Monday, leaving over 15 Baloch students critically wounded. The Baloch students were vastly outnumbered and terribly beaten, leaving some with critical injuries.

The police have said that 10 days ago, the two councils scuffled with each other, and Monday’s fight was its continuation.

Sources within QAU have said that the two councils have frequently clashed with each other in the past. A few Baloch students reportedly beat up a Pashtun PhD student a few days ago. The Pashtuns then gathered people and attacked the Baloch students back.

Videos of the incident show hundreds of Pashtuns, armed with iron rods, bats, and machetes, heading to QAU from the nearby Bhara Kahu. Other videos show the Pashtun students chasing the Baloch students away and chanting hateful slogans.

Hundreds of outsiders reportedly entered the university on Monday to attack the Baloch students. There are also reports that people from Peshawar also came to join the fight. The Pashtun council was reportedly supported by the Awami National Party, a Pashtun nationalist party.

“Amid violent clash between student groups, Quaid-i-Azam University is closed till further orders,” said registrar of QAU Dr Raja Qaiser Ahmed. The residents of the hostels were also directed to vacate the hostels immediately.

The university took the issue with the Islamabad police and the district administration, and asked government to deploy Rangers in the university to arrest the people responsible for the scuffle.


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