KARACHI: The long, drawn saga of Karachi’s Islamia College resulted in another clash, with students of the varsity clashing with the police that wanted to evacuate and seal the building as per court orders.
The building, which houses four colleges and four schools, has been at the heart of a bitter ownership dispute. The Islamia Education Trust (IET) owns the building, and has said that it has not been paid rent for their property since its nationalization by then Chief Martial Law Administration Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972.
The college management and the trustees have been embroiled in multiple lawsuits, with the courts ranging from the district level to the highest in the land ruling in favour of the petitioner trust. On April 26, 2008 the rent controller’s court ruled in favour of the Islamia College Trust being handed back the property, but the education department refused to abide by the ruling.
In all of this, there has been little consideration over the future of the thousands of students enrolled at the various colleges located at the premises.
Not surprisingly, the students are upset and are unwilling to allow authorities to seal the building
District East Senior Superintendent of Police Abdul Rahman Shirazi said that the court order was clear that the building has to be evacuated to sealed.
Jamshed Quarters police Station House Officer Naveed Soomro said that the Islamia College was established on private property, whose trustees had moved the top court to get the building vacated. He said the top court’s order to the Sindh High Court and the city courts was clear: to get the building vacated and hand it over to the SHC nazir (bailiff).
The Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, said that five students had been arrested, while warning the city administration of ‘consequences’ if they weren’t immediately released. Police did not confirm any arrests.
Earlier, the senior civil judge of district East had adjourned hearing of a petition over the Islamic College building not being vacated in line with court order. It gave the police time to get the building vacated and submit the report at the next hearing.