FAISALABAD: Eight journalists were attacked and beaten up by University of Agriculture Faisalabad’s guards outside the varsity’s premises on Tuesday.
While UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmed has not taken any immediate action, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah promised a strict action as well as registration of a case against the varsity’s guards.
Recently, the varsity administration had expelled seven students for allegedly bringing disrepute to the institution through social media comments.
Information gathered by Dawn suggested Yousaf Cheema, a reporter for Samaa TV, along with his cameraman and other crew, arrived at the UAF gate to have a follow-up news package of the recent expulsion of students. He sought permission of guards to enter, which they declined.
The crew then left the gate and started work near the district jail’s greenbelt on Jail Road, a few yards away from the varsity. Three guards from the varsity snatched their camera and asked them to first seek permission from the university.
Mr Cheema argued that permission was required for coverage inside the university and that they were standing far away from the premises. The guards started beating them and dragged two of them on the road.
Four to five stick-wielding guards were also seen hitting the DSNG van of Samaa TV and some channels showed policemen filming the stone pelting by the guards and damage to the vehicle.
Kashif Hussain, a local journalist, said employees of various channels and newspapers made it to the university on being informed about the incident. However, the guards pelted them with stones.
Some of them alleged that Civil Lines SHO Rana Maghfoor incited the guards to violence.