By Zulfiqar Ahmad
ISLAMABAD: The project director (PD) University of Chitral has made 16 staff, including three female officers, of education department in Booni hostage for about two weeks by sending 11 armed guards led by the public relations officer of his institution.Revenue record shows the building as property of education department.
The PD resorted to this tactic after the education department took over its building which it had earlier given to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University (SBBU) Booni campus as a stopgap arrangement in 2012 on the request of the then MPA Ghulam Muhammad.
After establishment of the University of Chitral, the SBBU campus at Booni was shut down, following which the education department (subdivision Mastuj) took over the building and shifted the subdivisional education officer (SDEO) female’s office from a rented building to it.
This earned the ire of PD UoC who sent 11 guards including the PRO of the university from Chitral town to seal the office of SDEO (female) Booni at gunpoint. This angered the locals who broke the seal and entered the building.
Sources privy to the development told ChitralToday that the newly-appointed Deputy Commissioner Upper Chitral Shah Saud was yet to take notice of the matter and guards are keeping the entire staff of the SDEO (female) office hostage.
“This is straight harassment of female staff. Due to presence of these 11 armed men, the female staff including SDEO have been confined to a room as they could not move around due to presence of heavily armed men inside their premises,” said a male staff of the SDEO female office Booni.
The activists of Tehreek Huqooq-e-Awami Booni have warned that if any untoward incident happened, the local administration will be held responsible.
When contacted, Assistant Commissioner Mastuj at Booni Ashfaq Ahmed said the issue had been discussed at length and the deputy commissioner had sought reply from the PD but he (PD) requested for a month to come up with a solution.
“We will put the issue on top of the agenda once the [one month] deadline is over,” said the AC.
When asked why the administration is not rounding up armed guards illegally sent by the UoC PD, he said SDEO female should approach the local police to register an FIR, and in case of non-cooperation from police, his office will take action.
Talking to ChitralToday on phone from Peshawar, Prof Badshah Munir, the PD of the university, denied sending any armed guards to occupy the SDEO female office at Booni. He claimed that the building which was earlier under the use of SBBU Booni campus had been transferred to UoC.
He also said the office of district education officer (female) did not contact the university before shifting the SDEO office to the building due to which he had sent his legal team not any armed guards to the area to look into matter.
However, the staff of SDEO female office Booni as well as the locals confirmed the presence of 11 armed guards at the site. The locals of the area demanded immediate removal of the armed men from the office.
2 Replies to “Chitral varsity PD sends armed guards in bid to take over govt building in Booni”
There is a big confusion here however; firstly, the education department has nothing to do with higher education should the building was leased to a University there must have been some legalities involved. They would probably have gone through the legal means to get back the building. Secondly, I am unable to understand the relation between a sub campus of SBBU and UoC? If the SBBU has formally been merged with UoC, had the matter of sub campuses was also resolved? if not, on what authority the PD of UoC is taking such a bold step as to sending over armed guards instead of referring the matter to Police? The article doesn’t address the question of legality of the actions of both the parties or there is another viewpoint? Is it the case that may be both these institutions thought that they have such powers invested in them by the Govt. of Pakistan that they can ignored the role of law enforcement agencies as they may desire and took matters in their own hands? if that’s what their perception of resolving the issues is; that is disappointing and deplorable. OR maybe its not as big an issue as it has been portrayed rather merely a muscle show?
The PD should know the prestige of his office and also his person. He has lost his credibility very soon. First he pretended to have been kinapped to justify his request for armed police guards and later was exposed and his claim of kinapping proved a mere farce. He picked up an unnecessary fight with his accadamic staff for no justifiable reason except to prove that he is a big and powerful man. Now in his efforts to become big, he has stooped very low by forcibly trying to occupy Education office female. His overactings warrant that he be taught a lesson either by district administration or higher education department.
Our children cannot learn ethical values from a person obsessed by vanity.