The Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) at the University of Karachi a student organisation came under heat on Tuesday for allegedly beating Hindu students and stopping them from celebrating Holi, according to a media report.
The students, who organised the Holi celebration, said they belonged to the Sindhi department, and had been tortured for the festivities they had arranged, The News reported.
"While we were celebrating Holi," they alleged, "A number of boys from Jamiat came and stopped us. They beat us and other students," the report said.
A female student, in a video statement, corroborated this statement, saying while she and her classmates had been celebrating Holi, members of the IJT came and "harassed" them and beat up the male students, The News reported.
Moreover, Sindh Universities Minister Ismail Rahu took notice of the incident and directed the Vice Chancellor of Karachi University, Khalid Mahmood Iraqi, to investigate the matter.
"The university administration should conduct an inquiry and submit a detailed report," Rahu said.
He added that Hindu students are fully permitted to celebrate their festivals in the university and that no one can stop them, adding: "Our religion and law teach respect for all religions and beliefs and give people full freedom to celebrate their festivals," The News reported.
The IJT, however, claimed that it had nothing to do with the incident.
IJT spokesperson Basiq Naeem told Geo News that the student organisation was not involved in the beating of students.
"We respect all religions," he said.
Earlier, a number of videos viral on social media showed that the Hindu community students being thrashed for celebrating Holi on the Punjab University campus in Lahore, Dawn reported.
At least 15 students from the Hindu community were injured during the attack against which an application has been filed with the police for registration of a case.
IJT activists on Monday allegedly attacked a gathering of students on the new campus of Punjab University when they were celebrating Holi with the permission of the administration.
Some other videos also showed that the security guards were carrying batons and beating the students who were seen running from the scene, Dawn reported.
Sindh Council general secretary Kashif Brohi said that the members of the Hindu community and the council had organised a Holi celebration after taking permission from the university administration.
He said the IJT activists started hurling threats after the students had posted invitation [for Holi celebration] on their Facebook page.
He said that on Monday morning, the members of the Sindh Council and Hindu community gathered outside the PU law college to celebrate Holi when IJT activists carrying guns and batons attacked them, Dawn reported.
Brohi said that 15 students from the Hindu community and Sindh Council suffered injuries during the clashes.
He said the students later gathered to protest outside the vice chancellor's office when security guards came there holding batons and started beating them.
Brohi said the security guards also bundled four to five students into their vans and did not allow them to record their peaceful protest, Dawn reported.
IJT spokesperson Ibrahim Shahid, however, told Dawn that they did not stop the Hindu community members from celebrating Holi.
A Punjab University spokesman said action would be taken against the students involved in attacking minority community members.
Responding to a query, he said the administration had allowed the Hindu community members to celebrate Holi in a hall but they were conducting the activity in the open and the security guards came there to stop it, Dawn reported.
He said the students were not allowed to hold the Holi celebrations on the ground.
The spokesman said the security staff did not attack the students but they were trying to stop the youngsters from approaching the VC office.
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