ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training (FEPT) on Thursday grilled the top administration of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) on mishandling the alleged male student rape incident.
A meeting of the committee was held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the chairmanship of Member National Assembly (MNA) Mian Najeeb Ud Deen Awaisi. The meeting on agenda discussed the amendment bills of HEC, the alleged rape of a student at IIUI, budget of the federal education ministry and appointment of chairperson Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA).
Discussing the alleged male student rape incident at IIUI, the MNAs went hard on the university administration saying that the university not even tried to cover up the matter but also blamed the victim.
The committee member Ali Nawaz Awan said that the university is putting all responsibility on the victim in its response. He said that the incident took place on the 18th, it was reported on the 21st, FIR was lodged on the 24th.
“We will not leave it and will make it an example,” he said. He said that if it was a crime, then the one who delayed legal proceedings is guilty because delay in legal proceedings ends the case.
MNA Sadaqat Abbasi said that the incident took place in the hostel and there is a security breach inside the university. “Which security guard has been prosecuted,” he remarked.
Abbasi also said that how did the security get authority to make the victim’s video and make it viral. He also asked that why the security department took his statement, there must be a detailed inquiry on it. MNA Mehnaz Aziz said that this is a matter of security and the university must suspend the in-charge and the statements should be taken in the court. She also requested the committee to give the case to a professional force for an inquiry.
“Earlier, an immodest video of a high university official surfaced, the human rights watchdogs are also silent on it and so is the police,” she said.
She added that the university administration is trying to defame the victim boy with its stance. Rector IIUI Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai responding to the committee said that action was taken against the students and a management committee was formed. He said that the incident took place on June 18, which was painful and university administration took immediate action and a committee formed by the President is working on it. He also said that the university has taken satisfactory steps on the issue and is taking measures to stop such incidents in future. The university security incharge informed the committee that the incident took place around 2:10 pm, the boy became friends on Instagram, and they have met several times. The security incharge said that boy was to accompany the hostel warden’s brother as there was a dispute of Rs5000. He said that when he was taken to the security cell and he gave a two page statement to the university administration. The committee expressing disappointment on the university measures recommended to refer the matter to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and summon DG FIA and IG Islamabad in next meeting.
Numbers of students from across the country protested outside the Higher Education Commission (HEC). A sit-in was announced by the students until their demands were met.
The students chanted anti-government slogans and demanded cancellation of matriculation and intermediate examinations. The protesters said that it was taught online by the government due to which there was no preparation. Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood should accept our demand or resign. On this occasion, a heavy contingent of police was deployed with armoured vehicles to deal with any untoward situation. Police arrested several students during the operation.